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Guest Thinkers

SMS: Be sensible, respect laws

For those of you who haven’t been following politics in Thailand, apparently today’s an important day. Some of the political parties there have been accused of rigging last year’s election and Thailand’s Constitutional Tribunal is handing down an important ruling today that may dissolve one or more of the parties. Many Thai citizens are preparing for post-decision turmoil, including stocking up on food and other essential supplies.

The Thai government sent out a SMS message yesterday to cell phone users in the country: “All Thais should embrace HM the King’s words of advice. Be conscious. Cherish unity. Be sensible and Respect laws…from CNS.” [CNS is the Council for National Security, the military regime currently governing Thailand]

My colleague, Dr. Gerry Fry, shares this note from his friend, David Rubin: “We have heard about protest groups and other movements of young persons all over the world using SMS through cell phones to communicate with each other as to movements and tactics, much to the chagrin of local authorities. This is the first instance I have seen of a governmental authority using the same cell phone facilities to send messages out to potential protesters.

Does the possibility of governments using cell phone SMS to reach citizens spook anyone?


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