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News Summary: Thailand may comb chats for crimes

The Associated Press

THE NEWS: Thai police asked the operator of the popular "Line" instant messaging app for access to records of online chats.

DETAILS: Police want to review the data of users they suspect are involved in crimes, including making statements against the Thai monarchy, arms trading, prostitution and drug dealing.

BIG PICTURE: That raises concerns about intrusive surveillance and violations of privacy and free speech, despite promises only suspected criminals would be targeted. Thailand has draconian laws that impose maximum prison terms of 15 years for insulting the monarch. Government officials attempt to scrub the Internet of statements critical of the king and his family.