You are using an outdated browser and your browsing experience will not be optimal. Please update to the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Install Microsoft Edge

July 5, 2024

Thailand Criminal Court’s New Technology Crime Division to Enhance Website Blocking

The landscape of intellectual property (IP) has transformed alongside advancements in technology, transitioning from traditional methods to modern online approaches. A growing number of IP infringers are moving their illegal activities to the online sphere, particularly through the sale of counterfeit goods on their websites, social media, or e-commerce platforms.

In response to these shifting pressures, Thailand implemented the Computer-Related Crime Act B.E. 2550 (CCA) on July 18, 2007, and amended it in 2017, aiming to enhance the effectiveness of combating online infringement by empowering government officials to request that the court block computer data (called “website-blocking”) that infringes upon other parties’ intellectual property rights, as per section 20(3) of the CCA. From 2018 to May 2024, Thailand’s Criminal Court and Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court have issued 53 orders to block more than 1,779 infringing URLs.

One significant recent development is the Criminal Court’s establishment of the Technology Crime Division, which has been operating since April 1, 2024. Its purpose is to address criminal offenses that occur through electronic means, which should then be handled in an effective and prompt manner by judges who have expertise on technological crimes. In addition, several current measures to combat technology crime, including section 20(3) of the CCA, require court orders for the prevention of electronic criminal offenses or online infringement. The Technology Crime Division has the jurisdiction to consider and grant these orders, which will help expedite the approval process and ensure review by specialized judges.

Scope of the Technology Crime Division

The announcement of the establishment of the Technology Crime Division within the Criminal Court was published in the Government Gazette on March 18, 2024, with operations commencing on April 1, 2024. The Technology Crime Division is empowered to:

  • Consider and adjudicate technology crime cases, except cases falling under the jurisdiction of the Narcotics and Human Trafficking Division; and
  • Consider and issue orders requested by competent law enforcement officers under the CCA, Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (2019), and Cyber Security Maintenance Act B.E. 2562 (2019).

“Technology crime cases” mean criminal cases initiated to request the punishment of an offender with respect to the CCA, as well as the following cases, regardless of whether they involve other offenses:

  • Criminal cases related to cheating, fraud, extortion, or blackmail using computer systems as a tool;
  • Criminal cases related to the Measures for the Prevention and Suppression of Technological Crimes Act B.E. 2566 (2023); and
  • Criminal cases related to the Personal Data Protection Act.

The Technology Crime Division will have judges specializing in technology-related crime cases, including one chief judge.

Upon the establishment of the Technology Crime Division, requests under section 20(3) of the CCA, which used to be handled by the General Criminal Court, will now be reviewed and granted by this new division. This change is expected to lead to quicker actions and more efficient approval processes by the court to combat online infringement.