Govt websites in Thailand down after controversy over cyber law

Bangkok: Government websites were down yesterday after hackers kicked off a campaign of attacks following controversial changes to the Computer Crime Law.

The sites hit included Government House, Office of the PM, and the Royal Gazette website.

It was not confirmed if the failure of these sites, which were offline sporadically yesterday, was the result of attacks or a defensive measure by the government.

Earlier, Major-General Ritthi Intarawut, director of the Army’s cyber centre, warned state agencies to prepare for cyber attacks by hackers angry over changes to the Computer Crime Act, advising them to step up security or even shut down systems temporarily.

Government agencies, previously targeted by hackers upset by changes to the law, were also advised to keep a close watch on system gateways, and place tight restrictions on firewalls in preparation for possible attacks.

The warning came after a group of Internet users known as “Opponents of the Single Gateway” threatened to attack government websites and wipe out all data today if the government did not respond to its demand for the amendment to be scrapped.

The law sparked major controversy, with nearly 400,000 Internet users signing an online petition at calling for the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to withhold approval of the changes over fears they would hit online freedom and privacy.

After the NLA passed amend ments last Friday, netizens staged protests online and offline. — The Nation/Asian News Network

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