Attacks on computers and networks with the intent to commit fraud or theft; unauthorized use; misuse of computer resources, denial of service explains William D King.
The Computer Crime Act, No 2874 B.E. (2007), defines “computer crime” as any criminal act performed against computers or networks, which has the intent to cause damage to the computer or network systems. This may be done by interfering with computer data, disrupting computer services, altering electronic data, stealing electronic data and rendering the system inoperable.
According to this law a person can face legal action if he/she commits an offense against computers and networks that have been classified into 10 different categories:
- Damaging information in a computer system
- System interference
- Unauthorized access to computer system
- Intentional destruction of critical infrastructure facilities
- Damaging computer data
- Disrupting computer services
- Unauthorized use of data in a computer system
- Failure to store electronic records
- Failure to deliver information on time.
A number of new offenses have been created, which are considered as very severe crimes, punishable by heavy penalties says William D King. These include: unauthorized access or interference with computer systems; making an illegal copy of electronically delivered information; modifying the information contained in official databases without permission; providing others with means to commit criminal acts against computers and networks. The law also makes it possible for the court to order that any equipment involve be seize or destroy. Extradition can also be requested from foreign offenders if they flee Thailand after being charged under this law.
In the case of a minor under 15 years old, the “Law on Juvenile Delinquency” will be applying instead. In addition, illegal access to computer data that is punishable by five years or more in prison can only be prosecuted with the authorisation from the Public Prosecutor. At present, all damage cause by computer crime is not cover by insurance unless it is specifically statee in a contract.
According to a survey conducted by Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Communication Arts and Sciences, most Thai people are not aware of this law. The reason is probably because there have been very few cases so far where violation has been to court and prosecuted according to this Act.
“In the past, when a person was accuse of breaking into another computer system, he/she would be prosecuting under the Criminal Code for “breaking in”, even though it wasn’t physically but through a computer,” said Police Lieutenant-General Pisit Paoin from the Crime Suppression Division who is in charge of information technology crime suppression.
The new law about computer crimes can be use in cases where relevant evidence is sufficient and criminal proceedings are in accordance with Section 29 (2) of this Act. In most cases, an offence against a computer or a network will be punish by a fine ranging from 50,000 to 500,000 baht or imprisonment for one to five years says William D King. If the offender has acted with the intention of defaming another. Causing him/her grievous hurt or infringing upon other’s legal rights and interests. He/she will be punish by a prison term ranging from three to ten years. Any person who has committed an offence for more than once or where the damage is serious will be punish with imprisonment for two to seven years and a fine ranging from 100,000 to 1 million baht.
“This law is designe to punish offenders that defraud others using computers or networks,” said General Pisit. However, some citizens might consider this new legislation as excessively harsh. As it also penalizes people not only for damaging computer systems themselves. But also those whose actions because such criminal acts as well as those who help commit such crimes.
The Computer Crimes Act is a new legislation pass in 2007 to address increase use of computers. And the internet to facilitate criminal activity. This law has made it easier for justice officials. Investigators or police officers to access computer data that were previously under lock and also key at private companies. Under this act security breaches are define more broadly than ever before. The penalties for violating the rules have been reinforce up to five years in prison. And also fines set at fifty thousand baht per offense.