The Presidential Office has come under fire from netizens for declining to view a clip on the video Web site YouTube attached to a petition sent via e-mail. The presidential office said the “unknown” Web site could cause harm to its computer system. \nIn an e-mail sent to the Presidential Office earlier this month, an Internet user with the pseudonym “an angry citizen” asked President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to watch a video clip posted on YouTube that shows how excavators dispatched by the Miaoli County Government and escorted by police rode into rice paddies and dug up farmland despite protests from local farmers at the scene. \nThe Miaoli County Government has taken over more than 28 hectares of land in Dapu Borough (大埔), Jhunan Township (竹南), Miaoli County, to make way for an expansion project of the Jhunan Science Park. \n“If you still are a man of conscience, please take a look at the attached video link to see how Miaoli County commissioner Liu Cheng-hung [劉政鴻] is destroying farmland,” the user wrote to Ma. “This couldn’t be carried out with your tacit approval, now could it?” \nThe response by the Presidential Office came as a surprise to “angry citizen” and many netizens. \n“Because of frequent and innovative attacks by malicious hackers and viruses, we have a policy to restrict access to unknown Web sites to maintain normal operations and security of our computer systems,” the Presidential Office said in its reply. “Hence, we are unable to browse the Web address that you have provided.” \nThe angry response from Internet users was immediate. \n“The Presidential Office calls YouTube an ‘unknown’ Web site, but the stupid lie is busted by the Presidential Office’s very own Web site” — recently upgraded, at a cost of NT$7 million [US$218,000] — “since there are links to YouTube on it,” blogger “pfge” wrote in a personal entry. “This proves that the government doesn’t care about what the public thinks.” \nThe Presidential Office uses the YouTube Web site on a regular basis, as it posts the president’s weekly video chat on it. \n“I don’t know which genius came up with this response, I don’t know whether to be mad or to laugh,” said Mira Chen, a member of the online social networking service Plurk.com. “So these are the people who are governing this country!” \nPresidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said that for security purposes, it had been policy since the Democratic Progressive Party was in power not to access links attached in e-mails. \n“If the public thinks we should change the policy, we will look more into it before making a decision,” he said.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official