“Wireless: In Thailand, on the trail of cellphone terrorists,” from the International Herald Tribune, with thanks to EPG:
BANGKOK – For years, Thai authorities acted as if international terrorism was someone else’s problem, even after bomb attacks in Bali, Jakarta and Manila brutally exposed the threat to the region. Suddenly, the government has changed tack, and mobile phone operators find themselves caught in its new enthusiasm for security.
From May 10, the government wants Thailand’s four mobile phone operators to start registering the identity of people buying prepaid SIM cards, the so-called subscriber identity module that identifies a phone to its network. That means collecting data on close to one million people a month. The impetus for this initiative apparently came from a series of bomb blasts in Thailand’s mainly Muslim southern provinces, where security forces face an insurgency. The bombs were mostly detonated by cellphones, Thai authorities say.
Every time a bomb goes off, the government closes down local cellular networks in case the bombers have planted a second device designed to hit security forces or rescue services rushing to the scene of the