Thai PM shuts down Twitter account after hack

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Thai Prime Minister, Yingluck Shintawatra is taking a break from Twitter after her account was hi-jacked by a hacker who mocked and criticised her.

Authorities say they are searching for the anonymous hacker who posted eight tweets after apparently using a mobile phone to access the recently elected premier’s @PouYingluck account.

Yingluck said the attack was a “violation of people’s personal rights” and the account was “temporarily suspended”.

The hacker lambasted Yingluck on a number of subjects including her response to recent flooding in the country and a number of key governmental policies.

One of the false tweets questioned a high profile promise to give tablet computers to schoolchildren, saying it was no substitute for education reform, while another accused Yingluck and her government of cronyism.

“How can she protect the country, if she cannot protect her own Twitter account? Think about it,” said the final post.

Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) minister Anudith Nakornthap said the hacker had first gained access to the Prime Minister’s email before taking over the Twitter feed and changing the password.

“We have some clues which will lead to a hacker. Authorities will find further evidence that will lead to an arrest,” he said.

For now, he said, the Thai leader will limit her social networking activities to her official Facebook page, which has almost 400 000 supporters.

Her Twitter handle @PouYingluck refers to the Thai leader’s nickname, Pou, which means crab.

Yingluck is the sister of ousted former leader Thaskin Shintwara. She is also Thailand’s first female Prime Minister and is the youngest Prime Minister of Thailand in over 60 years.

Her brother was overthrown in a military coup in 2006. Thailand remained under military control until Yingluck was elected in August.

Her election campaign centred on reconciliation, following the extended political crisis from 2008 to 2010, culminating in the military crackdown on protesters which left nearly a hundred protesters dead and thousands injured.

The protesters killed were largely part of the now infamous “Red Shirt” movement.

She promised to empower the Independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (ITRC), the panel that the Democrat Party-led government had set up to investigate the killings.

Image: Ratchaprasong 2

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