Col Pramoj Phrom-in, ISOC Region 4 Forward Spokesman, has further clarified the issue of SIM card registration in the Southern Border Provinces as follows.
The recording of facial and other characteristics in the purchase and use of SIM cards is in accordance with the order of the National Telecommunications Commission as announced in the Royal Gazette on 9 April 2019 as well as the latest regulations announced on 21 June 2019 governing the use of mobile phone information in areas under the Emergency Administrative Measures Decree. These measures have been enacted due to the use of identity theft to carry out financial transactions, the use of the national ID cards of other individuals to purchase SIM cards or using a SIM card reported lost to carry out financial transactions.
Furthermore it has been found that SIM cards purchased over the Internet from outside the Southern Border Provinces and from outside the country have been used to detonate Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). For example the suspect arrested in connection with the IED attack on the Mermaid statue at Laem Samila in Songkhla Province late last year confessed that he bought the SIM card used to detonate the device over the Internet. It has been found that many IEDs in other incidents have also been detonated with SIM cards purchased and registered using the national ID cards of other individuals.
It should be noted that this registration does not include fingerprinting as some people with ill intentions have claimed. However the new measures require that the owner of the SIM card must be photographed. This measure applies to everyone, including military and other government personnel without exception. The only aim of these measures is to prevent the illegal use of another person’s national ID card by criminals and insurgents to purchase SIM cards. There is no intention of violating the constitutional rights of the individual in these new measures.