DGA collaborates with THNIC to unveil ‘dg.th’ link shortening system
DGA is collaborating with THNIC to unveil the ‘dg.th’ link shortening system under the ‘Support and Development of Link Shortening Systems for Government Agencies’ project. This system, convenient, secure and user-friendly helps guard against cyber threats.
The Digital Government Development Agency (Public Organization) (DGA) in collaboration with the Thai Network Information Center Foundation (THNIC), has officially launched the ‘dg.th’ link shortening system. This was carried out as part of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony for the ‘Support and Development of Link Shortening Systems for Government Agencies’ project.
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Supachok Thiearwutthikul, director of the Digital Government Development Agency, and Dr. Pensri Arunwatanamongkol, director of the THNIC Foundation. The initiative aims to develop a link-shortening system to enhance the efficiency of sharing links among government agencies nationwide, ensuring the safe and reliable dissemination of information through online media. The event took place on August 8, 2023, at the DGA office.
Dr. Supachok Thiearwutthikul, director of the Digital Government Development Agency, stated that Thailand is currently facing cyber threats due to the sharing of shortened links in their traditional form. Before clicking on such links, it is often unclear whether they are trustworthy or not, creating vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit to steal data or deceive the public. Therefore, to comply with the ‘Act on Electronic Performance of Administrative Functions of 2022, the DGA initiated this project with two main objectives: First, it is designed to provide a service to government officials and agencies that need to share links. Instead of using privately owned link-shortening services, both free and paid, they can now utilize the ‘dg.th’ link-shortening system, enhancing the efficiency of disseminating information through online media. Secondly, it benefits the general public by ensuring that they can confidently click on links, knowing they are secure.
This system has been designed and developed with measures to prevent inappropriate link creation. This is achieved by enhancing the filtering capability for inappropriate keywords. Furthermore, before generating a shortened link with these keywords, approval from the organization’s administrator is required. Additionally, service users will see the destination website’s appearance before accessing it, enabling them to decide whether they want to click on it or not. Simultaneously, the system also provides file destination checks to reduce access to potentially dangerous files. These are aspects that the DGA considers of utmost importance.
Dr. Pensri Arunwatanamongkol, director of the THNIC Foundation, explained that the ‘dg.th’ link shortening system is designed to support the operations of government agencies that need to link their data and provide services to the public through digital platforms, making it more convenient. Typically, government agencies upload documents or forms on their websites or cloud-based systems and share them with the general public through long or complex links. As a result, there has been a growing trend of using link-shortening services that are accessible to anyone or QR codes to easily and conveniently share shorter links. However, the use of such link shorteners or QR codes has made it possible for malicious individuals to deceive the public because users cannot verify the destination of the shortened link or QR code such as the website it leads to or who owns it. This has caused significant harm to the public. The ‘dg.th’ link-shortening system is designed to address these issues by providing a convenient, easy-to-share, and trustworthy link-shortening solution for government users, enhancing confidence among users of government services.
“Many of the current instances of deception and scams arise from users clicking on links forwarded or shared by malicious actors, whether through SMS or online social media, without verifying beforehand. The use of the dg.th link shortening system by government agencies instills confidence in users that the link has not been generated by ill-intentioned individuals, allowing them to click and access information or services securely. This fosters better awareness among the general public, reduces the risk of falling victim to scams, and enhances the efficiency of government agency operations. Additionally, the use of .th and .ไทย domains for websites or links assures users that identity verification has been conducted to confirm the website’s ownership.”
For government agencies interested in using the ‘dg.th’ link shortening system, further inquiries can be made at the DGA Contact Center by calling 02 612 6060.