LINE app Chats Will Not Be Monitored in Thailand
Private chats on the mobile phone application LINE will not be monitored, a LINE company representative has confirmed this week, following the Thai government's request for the company to monitor and report content deemed to violate the lese-majesty law.
“User content on LINE is encrypted, and cannot be viewed by LINE Corporation employees. We do not monitor or block user content.“ the statement said. Last Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong told reporters the Thai government had discussed the matter with LINE's executives based in Thailand, saying the company had agreed to set up a special team to monitor users' content. However, the company has since confirmed that the Thai authorities need to go through diplomatic channels, such as the Thai embassy in Japan or the Japanese embassy in Thailand, and proceed according to international law. “We ask the authorities in Thailand seeking to obtain user data to make official requests through diplomatic channels and have so advised the Thai authorities.” LINE added.
LINE is a social network application launched in Japan in 2011. It is popular in many Asian countries including Thailand, with up to 700 million users. Last month, Thai government officials sought cooperation with Internet giant Google in removing content likely breaching lese-majesty law on its subsidiary platform YouTube. Several YouTube videos have been taken down as a result. The government has shut down more than 30 websites per day as the nation mourns late His Majesty the King who died on October 13.