Thailand to spend 3.8 million USD on social network monitoring. (Photo: Al Jazeera)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand will spend 128.5 million THB (3.8 million USD) acquiring software to strengthen the government’s ability to monitor social networks, a move that sparked protests from activists and opposition parties.

The country’s media reported on June 26 that the Thai Digital Economy Ministry is planning to install a social network data analysis system tracking million of internet users.

The Government of Thailand will soon post a tender for the software and then consider offers.

The government has arrested many people on suspicion of publicising posts on Facebook and other social media platforms deemed to defame the royal family and the military government since a coup in May 2014. It asked Facebook to block some 300 posts from users in Thailand in the first half of 2017.

The Thai government is also pushing a cyber-security bill that gives authorities power to order anyone to hand over information and communication devices, including phones and computers, in “emergency cases”, without court approval while internet access providers must also remove or block “sensitive” contents or websites if requested.-VNA