Tue, Mar 12, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Legislators target hidden cameras

By Tsai Ting-i  /  STAFF REPORTER

Anti-surveillance experts search for hidden cameras in the guest room of Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng yesterday, after Wang agreed with lawmakers that an all-out search for hidden cameras should be conducted in the legislature.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Female DPP lawmakers asked legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday for his support in passing tough legislation to combat the use of hidden cameras.

The lawmakers yesterday also asked Wang to compel Legislative Yuan security staff to check every room of the legislature once a month for hidden cameras.

The female lawmakers said the measure would create a better working environment.

The issue of hidden cameras has been a contentious one recently.

Photos of women using public restrooms -- many apparently filmed with hidden cameras -- have been rampant on the Internet.

In the nation's most infamous secret-taping scandal, former lawmaker Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳) was filmed making love to a married businessman in a video that was widely distributed across the nation. But there have been no known cases of peeping-toms using hidden cameras to spy on female lawmakers.

"The legislature's leadership in cracking down on hidden cameras would be significant to other government departments and non-government organizations," said Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青), secretary-general of the Women's League. "We hope that owners of public buildings will take the responsibility to protect every individual's privacy."

Meeting with Wang yesterday were several members of women's groups and five DPP legislators, including Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) and Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳).

"Even though the Gender Equality Law has been put into effect, women's privacy is not respected. How can we talk about gender equality?" Yeh said.

PFP legislator Lee Yung-ping (李永萍) held a public hearing on the issue of hidden cameras last week and has sought tough regulations against them.

Critics say Article 315 of the Criminal Code is too weak to be effective in fighting violations of privacy.

The article -- which prohibits the taping of private dialogue and conduct without the consent of the individual -- was passed by the legislature in 1999. It mandates a prison term of five years or a NT$50,000 fine for circulating illegally taped materials.

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