Let's say a known criminal enters Thailand as a tourist. A foreign authority calls Thailand to let them know he is on the loose. If he has the sim, he can be picked up immediately. It's important we don't let our freedom become strategically eroded over time and manipulated into a new definition. We should endeavor to fully understand what the implications are and whether a security measure is really going to be that effective before we roll over and succumb. Potentially, you could become untraceable using a VPN — installed on your mobile. This would make it appear as if you were in another location.
You can read my post on this here. But in my humble opinion, I don't think this scheme is going to happen, or at least not in the currently proposed format. Last Updated on September 28, May 14, at pm. May 15, at am.
In addition they could track non-Thai i. May 12, at am. It seems as if you may have somehow misinterpreted the article. Furthermore, although you work in IT, it seems as if you may also not be very familiar with the basics of how cellular networks operate.
So, just to clarify things, we are not talking about any new technology here. And this new program simply seems to be a way of ensuring that all foreign tourist entering Thailand have a registered SIM card in their phones and one which identifies them on the system as such. And naturally once the system knows which active SIM cards belong to these tourists you can use this data in a variety of ways at some point down the road as technology allows. Then they could use the phones GPS data to track the user down.
For this to work however all visas would have to be electronically entered into the system upon arrival and I seriously doubt that they currently have this capability at every border crossing and airport in Thailand.
Also, it seems to me that there would be too many false alarms with such a system. For example if you decide to give your phone and SIM to a friend before leaving the country then the immigration police might end up wasting a lot of time looking for you when you are no longer even in the country. Realistically speaking though, this data would likely only be used when a person is already suspected of overstaying his visa or committing some other criminal act.
In any case, at this point in time, it sounds to me like the Thai government is simply trying to eliminate the use of unregistered cellular phones at least among foreigners. And while there are certainly plenty of legitimate reasons to buy a burner phone they are used primarily by criminals. By the way, a burner phone can still be tracked in some cases if the police someone find out what your phone number is say by capturing one of your criminal associates and finding the number in his phone list.
But the whole point of a burner phone to a criminal is that he can discard it after a certain amount of time and get a new one before the police learn his previous phone number. If it identified them by their race or socioeconomic background, etc. But there is nothing wrong with having the system be able to identify who is a citizen or permanent resident and who is simply a temporary guest in your country. In fact, this is not all that much different from having to wear a visitors badge when entering certain high security buildings when you are not an employee there.
It makes perfect sense to me as it could someday greatly aid the immigration authorities in doing their jobs and ensuring that people do not overstay their visas. Although I know a lot of westerners these days seem to think they have this unalienable right to live in whatever country they choose and for as long as they choose regardless of the immigration laws of that country.
Back to the article though, I did find one possible error when re-reading it just now, and this has to do with the use of a VPN to hide your identity. The problem is that a VPN only hides your Internet identity and location IP address , but the police do not go through your Internet connection when tracking your phone and its GPS data.
When any cell phone connects to the system through a cell tower it is only able to do so because the system recognizes its unique IMSI number usually stored on the SIM, but not always as being valid and active on that system.
And this number of course also tells the system who you are — at least when you have a normal registered cell phone. Anyway the system identifies you and your GPS location long before the point at which you are routed off to your Internet connection. And when the police want to track you down by your phone for example when you call this is the point at which they tap into the system. Basically your Internet service has nothing to do with it and therefore a VPN is of no use in this particular situation.
And even though I realize that most people use their phones primarily as an internet terminal these days I seriously doubt if the basic cell phone electronic registration process has changed much since I was working in the industry over ten years ago. Once your phone connects to a cell tower however the system immediately knows who and where you are assuming you are using your own phone. And even if you were to permanently disable the GPS on your phone the police could still roughly triangulate you position just based on info from the cell towers, possibly to within a block or so in some cases.
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