There’s lots of paranoia about Thailand announcing a new SIM tracking initiative. It’s mostly BS – though it continues to be perpetuated by some of my friends living in Thailand, particularly since they don’t understand what is possible (or, not possible). This might clear some of the confusion up. Maybe.
“Secretary-General of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Thailand, Takorn Tantasith, said, “We will separate SIM cards for foreigners and Thais. The location will always be turned on in this SIM card for foreigners. And it cannot be turned off.”
SIM cards do not have a feature to “turn location always on” – someone sold the Thai government a bill of goods. This smells like the fake bomb detectors.
The Malaysian and Indonesian examples given only mandate that SIM cards be registered (just as Thailand does already).
This initiative will go nowhere and will quietly be shelved.
It’s telling that those freaking out about this, also have done (and continue to do) zero additional research in order to inform themselves, and continue to perpetuate the FUD and sensationalism associated with this.
Mobile phones are originally by design neither secure or great for privacy.
If you want to maintain your privacy (read: are extremely paranoid) then just use an iPhone, use wifi only or a mobile hotspot, and use only iMessage and FaceTime audio to communicate. You can try to protect your communication on Android, but with all the security flaws inherent in Android, that’s a futile attempt. Security and encryption are activated by default on iOS devices, and highly optional on Android.
Additionally, WhatsApp does a surprisingly good job providing an encrypted and secure platform as well.
© 2016 ZinkDifferent. Repost with attribution and credits.
The government of Thailand will review a plan to track foreigners in Thailand using SIM cards, including tourists and long-term foreign residents.