Brief Overview

The Computer Crimes Act (2007), which has been heavily used to curb online content, was controversially amended in 2017 to place even more severe and ambiguous limits to online freedom of expression despite widespread public opposition. Moreover, the Public Assembly Act (2015) governs all assemblies to be notified by the authorities. It is frequently used to obstruct full exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly.

The Computer Crime Act (CCA)

The Computer Crime Act (CCA) of Thailand was first enacted in 2007 and was recently amended in 2017. Despite amendments, the CCA remains a serious concern for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) because of its overly broad provisions and articles. Before the amendment, the 2007 version of the CCA was used to suppress freedom of expression online by pressing charges against individuals expressing criticism of the military government led by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The CCA also further extend criminalisation of other crimes like criminal defamation, and is even utlised by the private sector to sue HRDs on Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) charges. The current version of the CCA still has concerning articles, the most prominent being Article 14 (1) and (2).

In Article 14 (1), it stipulates that “with ill or fraudulent intent, enters into a computer system distorted or forged computer data, partially or entirely, or false computer data, in a manner that is likely to cause damage to the public, in which the perpetration is not a defamation offense under the Criminal Code.”

In Article 14 (2), the provision criminalises anyone who “enters false data into a computer system that could cause damage to the national security, public safety, national economic security, or public infrastructure that serves public national interest, or cause panic in the public. The article imposes a maximum of five-year jail term and a 3,200 USD fine.

The CCA 2007 and its amendment in 2017 can be found in the link below



14 July: Man Faces Charges for Editing Top Virologist’s Wikipedia Page

The unidentified 24-year-old now faces criminal defamation as well as possible computer crime charges for the rewrite, which referred to the senior adviser as the “Sinovac salesman for Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s government.

15 June: Cherprang’s parody page faces charge under Computer Crime Act 

Cherprang Areekul, a Thai celebrity, has been photoshopped to look like Thailand’s Queen several times. The page administrator alleges that they are being investigated for lèse majesté. The claim is refuted by Cherprang’s agency, which claims that the legal action was taken under the Computer Crime Act.

26 May: Social media users can face legal action for spreading false Covid-19 information

Those who spread misleading information about Thailand’s Covid-19 predicament risk facing legal consequences. Several persons are facing penalties for posting false information on social media about the coronavirus’s prevalence in Thailand and vaccination adverse effects. False statements have the ability to stoke civil unrest and jeopardize national security, according to the Digital, Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn.

20 May: Thai singer ‘Heart’ faces charge under lèse majesté law

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s lawyer has filed a report with the police against Suthipongse ‘Heart’ Thatphithakkul under the lèse majesté law and the Computer Crime Act. Suthipongse, a famous Thai singer with a political profile, is one among many who have been charged for speaking out against the government’s vaccine policy

14 May: PM representatives file police complaint against Thai singer and government critic

Representatives of Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, have filed a police complaint against the Thai singer Suthipong Tadpitakkul, aka, “Heart”. Suthipong has criticised the government’s vaccine procurement plan, a move that has led to accusations of violating the Computer Crime Act and Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law

8 May: Govt eyes defamation case against MFP after Thamanat ruling

Move Forward Party’s (MFP) Facebook page posted a comment by its secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon who harshly criticised Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha following the court ruling. The Digital Economy and Society Ministry says it will file a defamation lawsuit against the MFP. “This may also constitute a violation under the Computer Crime Act,” he said.

28 April: Thai PM granted sweeping powers to curb Covid

Thai PM Prayut was given sweeping powers, aimed at addressing the COVID-19 situation, but which critics argue would lead to the curtailment of freedoms. Among the new powers there is control of the Controversial Computer Crime Act, which has been used to judicially harass activists

1 April: The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) of the Royal Thai Police has warned that people may be jailed under the Computer Crimes Act for posting April Fool’s stories today 

The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) of the Royal Thai Police has warned that people may be jailed under the Computer Crimes Act for posting April Fool’s stories today (Apr 1)

30 March: Thanathorn denies defaming Thai monarchy during livestream on vaccine acquisition

Leader of Thailand’s Progressive Movement, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit after two hours of questioning, was charged with lèse majesté and breaching the Computer Crime Act.

3 March: “Lost Faith” shirt wearer arrested again

“Lost Faith” shirt wearer arrested again Tiwagorn Withiton was arrested on a warrant issued by the Khon Kaen Provincial Court on 3 March 2021 on charges under the lèse-majesté law and sedition law, or Sections 112 and 116, as well as the Computer Crimes Act.


24 November: An activist summoned by lese majeste and computer crime act

Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak, a student activist who has been advocating for monarchy reform, has received a police summons for violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crime Act.

22 October: Court does U-turn on media closures

The Criminal Court lifted its order to shut down four online media outlets and the platforms of pro-democracy group Free Youth movement, arguing that only unlawful content could be intercepted. The Criminal Court had previously granted a request by Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to order the closure of an online platform of Voice TV.

21 October: Court orders suspension of Voice TV’s online platforms

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society filed a court order for the suspension of Voice TV’s online platforms, arguing that it violated the Computer Crimes Act and the ‘State of Severe Emergency’, after it aired clips and photographs of the recent protests in Thailand. Voice TV, in a statement argued that they had not spread misinformation, or endangered national security in their reporting.

6 October: Police: Demonstrators, online offenders will be arrested

Police deputy spokesman, Siriwat Deepor, warned the public that individuals who post information online that ‘is false, affects security or leads to uncontrolled violence’ would face charges under under the Computer Crime Act and the State of Emergency Act. They could be sentenced to up to five years and/or pay a fine of up to 100,000 baht.

25 September:  Social media giants in govt crosshairs

Targeting messages offending the royal institution, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society asked technology crime suppression police to prosecute major social media providers for failing to remove alleged illegal contents, according to article 27 and 20 of the Computer Crime Act.

25 August: Facebook to challenge govt demand to block monarchy discussion group

The “Royalist Marketplace” group was created by Pavin who is a self-exiled academic and critic of the monarchy. The  group that has its 1 million member is a space for freedom of expression and a platform to exercise democratization process . The Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta has asked Facebook company to takedown the group to avoid facing charges under the local Computer Crime Act.

20 August: Police obtain warrants for six activists

The six activists was charged due to breaching internal security and spreading of Covid-19 as well as for violating computer crimes.

25 June: Activist freed after almost four years

After being detained for nearly 4 years, an activist has been acquitted of national security and computer crime charges.

26 May: Data committee for virus

Data governance committee is set up for antiviral contact-tracing Thai Chana platform to ensure data privacy protection.

24 March: Dropping of computer crime charges against Thanathorn ‘final’

Police have no objection to the prosecutors’ decision not to indict former Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and two other former party executives on computer crimes charges

17 January: ‘Run Against Dictatorship’ organizer summoned on Public Assembly Act charge

One of the organisers of the event “Run Against Dictatorship” was summoned for allegedly organising a public assembly without notifying police, a requirement under the Public Assembly Act. The organiser, Tanawat Wongchai, was required to appear in the police station on 20 January. Under the Public Assembly Act, organisers of a public demonstration are required to notify authorities no less than 24 hours before the event.

14 January: Govt eyes cyber HQ to combat hacker threat

The government launch first-ever cybersecurity office to prevent data hacking from everyday banking transactions to data in the Chim, Shop, Chai stimulus scheme.



1 November: Thailand unveils ‘anti-fake news’ centre to police the internet

On November 1 2019, Thailand opens its first anti “fake-news” centre. According to the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, the centre would be targeting “fake-news” related to “peace and order, good morals, and national security”.

7 October: Activist arrested; accused of threatening monarchy

On October 7 2019, Karn Pongpraphapan, a Thai civil-political rights activist for allegedly violating an Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act. The arrest came as a result of his Facebook posts of which the officials accused they were threats to the monarchy.

8 October: Wifi Rule Sparks Call For Change

The Digital Economy and Society Minister said that the owners of coffee shops need to comply with the data retention obligation under Article 26 of the Computer Crime Act. The officials can also require such data of the customers’ browsing histories to be handed over to the anti “fake-news” centre.

25 February: 11 charged over hoax news stories

Nine people have been charged for sharing the post and spreading false information related to the military conscription period. The rest are believed to be the webmaster that contained such false information. All of them face up to five-year imprisonment terms.

22 January: Ekkachai-Chokchai sued for defaming military

A lawsuit brought by legal division of the NCPO alleged two Thai political activists that they violated criminal defamation and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act for posting false information on Facebook defaming Thai military over the historical fact saying that the Thai military lost to Lao PDR forces back in 1988 war.



17 October: Rapping for democracy: The Thai anti-junta song going viral

Spokesperson of the Technology Crime Suppression Division said that the popular rap song accusing military junta of dictatorship was under consideration by investigator. He also said that those who shared and uploaded the music video may also be subjected to violation of spreading false information under the Computer Crime Act

17 September: New Thai political party charged under draconian old law

Members of a new progressive party, Future Forward Party, were charged by police accusing them of spreading false information under Computer Crime Act over a Facebook live broadcast accusing ruling junta for its attempts to intimidate member of rival parties



24 May: The new Computer Crime Act goes into effect today

The amended Computer Crime Act came into effect on May 24 2017.

15 May: Journalist sued by Thai mining company operating in Myanmar

Criminal defamation and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act were used as legal basis by Thai mining company operating in Myanmar to file a lawsuit against a journalist alleging that his article contained false information of the company.

Public Assembly Act, 2015

First enacted in 2015, the Act imposes severe restrictions on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and gives authorities sweeping powers to ban public assemblies on vague and arbitrary grounds. It is routinely used to cancel or tactically obstruct any form of gathering including public seminar, academic conference, or street peaceful demonstration that deem critical to the authorities. A public assembly that takes place without submitting an application for prior notification to the authorities is regarded as unlawful, and can be resulted in criminal liability.

The law can be found in the link below



30 March: Protest blitz was justified, says Prayut

Protest blitz was justified, says Prayut Police dispersed the protest on Sunday (28/03) and arrested 99 demonstrators. Gen Prayut said the authorities needed to vacate the site because the protesters caused traffic congestion and became a nuisance to nearby schools. He said the demonstrators did not comply with the Public Assembly Act and violated many laws such as the Communicable Disease Act and traffic regulations.

8 March: 18 protest leaders arraigned over rallies, 3 also face lese majeste charges 

Mr Prayuth said they each face 11 charges – violating Section 116  by inciting unrest, Section 215 of the Criminal Code for illegal assembly of more than 10 people, the Public Assembly Act and the emergency decree, obstructing public pathways, obstructing vehicular traffic, illegally placing objects on road surfaces, damaging historical sites, causing damage to property, and using loudspeakers without permission.

07 January: Prominent activist Lookkate reported to police after being alleged of violating Public Assembly Act and Emergency Decree

Chonthicha Jangrew, aka Lookkate, a prominent Thai activist, reported herself at Chanasongkram Police Station in Bangkok. She was accused for violating the Emergency Decree and the Public Assembly Act following her involvement in pro-democracy protests in August and October 2020.She denied both allegations.

04 January: Seven activist leaders faced allegation of violating Public Assembly Act and Emergency Decree

Seven Thai activist leaders reported themselves at Samranrat Police station in Bangkok. They were alleged for violating the Public Assembly Act and the Emergency Decree following their roles in the peaceful demonstration back in 14 October 2020.



30 December: TLHR report claimed 60 individuals being charged by Public Assembly Act for joining series of peaceful rallies in 2020

According to the Thai Lawyer for Human Rights, it is reported that at least 60 individuals were charged for violating the Public Assembly Act as a result of their participating or organising of peaceful rallies that occurred from 18 July – 25 December 2020.

02 November: Court throws out police request to detain ‘Rung’

The Thai Royal police have accused Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul of beaching the Public Assembly Act of 2015 for her two demonstrations on 5 and 22 June 2020 demanding justice for missing human rights activists Wanchalerm Satsaksit. The court later dismissed the request from the police to detain Panusaya for further questioning.

20 September: Police mull charges against protest leaders

Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) commissioner Piya Tawichai said the protest leaders could face charges on three counts of breaching the Public Assembly Act by relocating from Thammasat University to Sanam Luang ground.

10 September: High school student summoned for Ratchaburi protest

The police has accused high school student for participating in an anti-government protest in Ratchaburi province, alleging them for violating the Emergency Decree and the Public Assembly Act.

20 August: Arnon Nampa charged with Public Assembly Act and other offenses over July-August rallies

Arnon Nampa was charged for violating offences under the Public Assembly Act and the Computer Crime Act, Sedition offence, and offences for using loudspeakers without prior approval. The charges stem from his participation in the 18 July and 3 August rallies, after giving a speech addressing monarchy reforms. The court later approved bail request for Arnon and eight other activists.

01 August: Student leader Jutatip arrested over protest

Police arrested a student activist leader, Jutatip Sirikhan, on 1 August 2020, as part of a continued crackdown against political activists who helped organize an anti-government protest on 18 July 2020.

12 March: A total of 18 charged for violating Public Assembly Act for their roles in ‘Run Against Dictatorship’ 

A total of 18 Individuals from different parts of Thailand were charged for failing to notify the public assembly to the authorities. The charges not only targeted the organisers by also including individuals who merely participated in the event.

17 January: ‘Run Against Dictatorship’ organizer summoned on Public Assembly Act charge

Bang Sue Police Station has summoned Tanawat Wongchai for organizing a public assembly without notifying the police according to the Public Assembly Act.



29 November: Police Order Bangkok Climate Protest To Disperse

Police officers ordered Climate Strike Thailand not to enter Lumpini Park and told the crowd to disperse.



30 March: 57 individuals prosecuted for protesting against military

57 individuals, also known as ARMY57, who joined peaceful demonstration on 24 March that called for general elections, faced charges under NCPO ban on political gathering. Some who are deemed as organisers of demonstration also faced additional charges of Sedition offence.

08 February:  MBK39 activists faced charges under NCPO 3/2015 and Public Assembly Act

Members of a group of 39 pro-election demonstrators known as MBK39 reported to the police officers for charges under Public Assembly Act and NCPO ban on political gathering. The charges were filed by the junta ruling for their involvement in the peaceful gathering on January 27 2018 that called for general elections.



27 December: Public Assembly Act used to silence environmentalists in Sakon Nakhon

On December 21 2017, public prosecutor decided not to indict Achittaphon Khukasang, a member of a community environmental group in Sakon Nakhon, for violating the Public Assembly Act.

Latest Updates and Developments