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Information systems for national security in Thailand: ethical issues and policy implications

Krisana Kitiyadisai (Department of Public Administration, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 27 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to explicate the influence of US national security approach on the Thai Government's national security, the criticisms on the US and Thai intelligence communities and ethical debates on national databases, including the introduction of the concepts of “spiritual computing” and Buddhism to the ethical aspect of intelligence databases.


The methodology of this paper is based on the interpretative approach which includes literature survey and interviews of the intelligence community (IC) in Thailand. The relevant literature survey consists of the literature on US intelligence databases for Homeland Security, criticisms of the IC, the ethical debate on national databases in the USA, the Thai National Security Council, ethical debates on the Internal Security Act and Computer Crime Act, Buddhism and “spiritual computing.”


The findings reflect that the US model of national security has significant influence on the Thai intelligence approach and application of IT for national security while both intelligence communities have similar intelligence problems and have raised ethical debates on violations of human rights.

Research limitations/implications

The research limitations include the nature of the topic which is a closed subject under legal restrictions in Thailand so that the sources of official information could not be disclosed nor elaborated in details; and literature on this topic has not been widely available except unclassified information which limits a more in‐depth investigation and analysis.


The value of this paper lies in being the first attempt to throw light on a “forbidden” subject in Thailand by discussing the US experiences against the Thai case study. The application of “spiritual computing” and Buddhist precepts to the context of national security and intelligence databases could be a starting point for developing a “happier” and “successful” IC and possibly open a new approach to national security.



Kitiyadisai, K. (2008), "Information systems for national security in Thailand: ethical issues and policy implications", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 141-160.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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