LINE refutes ThaiGov claim it’s reading your messages

Hours after the Information and Communication Technology Ministry claimed it is actively reading messages sent via the popular Line application, its South Korean owner said that’s just not possible.

In response to reports that Thai authorities had access to its system, Naver Corp. sought to play down fears today about the security of Line, which enjoys immense popularity in Thailand.

“No monitoring by the Thailand government has been conducted,” company spokesman Nam Ji Woong wrote in an email quoted by Bangkok Post. “Line considers consumers’ privacy as a top priority.”

Pornchai Rujiprapa, the Thai Minister of Information, said yesterday the government was screening the tens of millions of messages sent daily for anything it deemed libelous, threatening to security or lese majeste, according to a Khaosod report.

It’s the second time in two years Line has denied the Thai government’s ability to read messages. In August, 2013, Thai police threatened to request details about users and conversations, prompting Line Japan, where the service is based, to promise they’d never violate user privacy without a Japanese court order. The police reportedly never made the request.

The ministry’s claim may reflect wishful thinking.

Soon after overthrowing the government and taking power, the military junta signaled its desire to gain access to citizens’ online lives, and specifically, Line. Facebook was even briefly taken offline at the junta’s request, according to telecom provider DTAC, which authorities denied.

Next officials traveled to the offices of Google and Facebook to ask for their help in censoring content, which were roundly rejected. After that the junta announced it would build an alternative to Facebook and secure Thailand behind a new firewall, but nothing has been heard of those plans since they were announced in June.


Junta to build social network alternative, new Internet gateway

DTAC owner: Facebook blocked on order of junta

Internet watchdogs give up bid to access Facebook, Line

Facebook goes down in Thailand!

Military hopes Facebook, Google will cooperate with censorship

Junta seeks access to LINE chat groups

LINE: We have not received request from Thai police

Thai police cannot peek into your Line chat without a Japanese court order

TCSD requests ‘threatening’ Line chatting app records

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