Thai telcoms regulator wants tourists to use location-tracking SIMs

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What if your phone is dead?
So the Thai government doesn’t already do this? Why announce it to the world?
So the well informed and rich will easily get around this, meaning a significant reduction in effectiveness?

Perhaps Thailand doesn’t have any NSA or CIA contacts so they are on their own for surveillance?


Surprisingly, this is already the case in Norway. Only Norwegian citizens and legal residents can activate local SIMs. They have to submit their ID number to do so. There is one exception I could find in Oslo, a single SIM supplier who non-residents can apply to buy and activate a SIM by providing their passport.

It is true that you can use roaming in Norway, but my international SIM went from $.09/MB to $2.50/MB when I visited Norway (An average web page is 3MB+, so we are talking about going from 27 cents per web page to $7.50 per web page. So while registering a local SIM with your passport is not required to use a cell phone in Norway, there is a strong economic incentive to do so. I would not be surprised if Norway has a tracking plan in mind based on their registered database of SIMs.

1 Like order to "locate them which will help if there are some tourists who overstay or run away (from police)."
"You're under arrest!" "Damn, and I would have gotten away, too, except for my cellphone with the chip you gave me earlier."

Psst! Kid, hey kid! Yeah, you. C’mere!

I’ll give you ten bucks if you go buy me a prepaid phone…


Hang on, but tourists can still have sex with children, right?

OK, just checking.

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So these SIMs are basically just an administrative tool, eliminating the need to record the phone number and id number of the cell phone that they can already track. And does anyone really think they aren’t already tracking all SIMs tourist or not?

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tourists who use SIM cards from their own home countries and roaming services are not required to share their location. Instead they would receive a tracking-enabled SIM card if they want, which they can obtain from a Thai service provider by showing their passports.

  • Secretary General of the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Takorn Tantasith

I’m not sure but this wording seems to indicate this will be optional for tourists using their own SIM and a roaming service.

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