Military chiefs in Thailand order coffee shops to hand over customers' browsing history

Military chiefs in Thailand plan to tackle cybercrime by forcing cafes to store and hand over their customers' browsing history.

Officers believe that people who spread fake news or criticise the government online are getting away with it by using publicly WiFi networks in businesses.

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry has now angered cafe owners by demanding they store browsing data from the last 90 days which could then be matched with CCTV images.

Those who can't afford to implement use a new PC server to handle the data should ''make customers write their names and ID cards on paper'' alongside the time they logged on.

The strict new measures have been slammed by business owners.

Pongsak Tantikul, chief executive of PO Oil Co, which is connected to the Cafe Amazon franchise, said: "The business must spend more on a software system or technology to serve the government's policy. We don't know yet how much it will cost us, and the company is concerned about that.''

Lawyer Paiboon Amonpinyokeat, an advisor to the Digital Economy and Society, said coffee shops or internet cafes can keep paper records rather than using a server or data storage. He said shops can ask customers to write their names and ID numbers, along with the time and date they used WiFi.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta revealed the plans after the arrest of Karn Pongpraphapan, 25, for allegedly breaking the country's lese majeste laws by making a post online about monarchies in Europe.