Thu, Oct 12, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Broadcasted orders to anti-Chen camp broke no laws: NCC

WEAK SIGNAL The orders were transmitted during a talk show program aired on a frequency registered for use in southern Taiwan

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday that remarks about the anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) "siege" of the Presidential Office broadcast by News98 on Tuesday did not break the law.

However, it said FM99.5 -- a frequency registered with the commission for use in Yunlin and Chiayi counties -- was being used to give commands to the protesters.

The anti-Chen campaign organizers had said before the "siege" that they would deliver their orders to their followers by radio broadcasts.

The plan reportedly angered some underground radio stations partial to the Democratic Progressive Party, who threatened to disrupt broadcasts of the anti-Chen campaign.

`ABNORMALITY'

NCC spokesperson Howard Shyr (石世豪) confirmed yesterday that the commission has indeed received a report from News98 about "an abnormality" detected in their air waves.

"But whether or not the abnormality was caused by human intervention has yet to be determined," Shyr said.

Many other factors, such as the power generators at the protest site, could have interfered with the broadcasts.

However, the commission did record News98's news broadcasts on Tuesday.

Based on the recorded materials, the orders being given to the anti-Chen protesters were presented through a live broadcast during a news program whose hostess was talking to the campaign organizers.

The news program was listed in the station's broadcast schedule for the day, he said.

The NCC oversees the use of radio frequencies and regulates broadcast content, he said.

NO LAWS BROKEN

Shyr cited the Broadcasting and Television Law (廣播電視法), which states that the broadcast content should not involve anything that abets criminal acts, is detrimental to the minds of young adults, breaks the law or disrupts the social order.

Neither the NCC nor criminal investigators found evidence in the recordings that fit any of those categories, he said.

Shyr added that the use of FM99.5 would not have any legal repercussions, even though the frequency was registered for use only in Yunlin and Chiayi.

The signal was weak, he said, and the commission's officials had not been able to locate the transmitter because the broadcast only lasted a short time.

According to other commission officials, two NCC specialists were dispatched to the protest on Tuesday to look for unusual radio wave activity. The FM99.5 broadcast was picked up accidentally as the two specialists were monitoring FM98.1, the frequency used by News98.

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