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Foreigners to be required to use tracking SIM cards

BANGKOK: Telecoms regulators today (Aug 9) approved in principle a requirement that foreign visitors to Thailand use special SIM cards in their phones that can be tracked by the authorities.

technology, tourism, immigration,

Bangkok Post

Tuesday 9 August 2016, 05:09PM

Tourists take selfies at Wat Chai Wattanaram in Ayutthaya province. Photo: Seksan Rojjanametakun
Tourists take selfies at Wat Chai Wattanaram in Ayutthaya province. Photo: Seksan Rojjanametakun

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the resolution was in the interests of national security. The NBTC would discuss the measure with mobile phone operators, the Customs Department and other related state agencies.

Mobile operators can preset some technical features in SIM cards to ensure that they can always locate users, who will be unable to turn off the function, he said.

From January to July this year, 19.06 million foreigners visited the country, up 12 per cent year-on-year, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

Read original story here.



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Joe12 | 10 August 2016 - 18:20:53

Can't you people comprehend the article which states, "...approved IN PRINCIPLE a requirement that foreign visitors to Thailand use special SIM cards."

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Kurt | 10 August 2016 - 11:00:22

@ Westy, Very good question.
Well, in normal democratic countries you can use your own Sim card from your own country in other countries as you wish.
I guess nothing forbid you to use your own country Sim card in Thailand.
There is this moment no thai law to forbid you such.

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Kurt | 09 August 2016 - 22:06:05

@ Belzybob, you are right about the cell phone system concerning foreigners living here.
It seems not to be for us living here, just for the tourists. 
For the 19.06 million tourists who visit Thailand every 6 months.

But 'tourists' with bad intentions will go around it. 
They just use a few foreign sim cards.
And if one takes sim card out of the phone the 'location function' is not working.

Actually a foreign tourist doesn't need a Thai 'national security' tracking sim card.
Just use Skype and Line in Thailand with your foreign sim of charge as well.

Welcome in the Land of Smile.
On forehand labeled as suspect as a foreign tourist, unless you are proven innocent for the sake of the thai national security thinking.

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Westy | 09 August 2016 - 19:57:28

What happens when a foreigner brings their own SIM Card in from their own country ???

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Belzybob | 09 August 2016 - 19:07:49

I'm at a loss to understand what this is all about. Currently a foreigner has to provide identification to obtain a pre-paid or any other kind of mobile sim. 

The cell phone system already tracks the phones through a unique identifier and can show the location fairly accurately.

What exactly are they proposing that gives them any more information? 

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