The National Communications Commission (NCC) said a protection agency for Internet content would be formed based on Article 46 of the Protection of Children and Youth Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法), adding that the agency was not being created to impede speech freedom or censor online content.
Currently, the commission entrusts a private organization, Cyber Angel’s Pick, with the task of receiving complaints over online content at “Watch Internet Network” (WIN).
However, some netizens have accused the agency of impeding freedom of speech, referring to a recent study by CAP which found that Internet pornography, Internet fraud and inappropriate information were three major sources of complaints. They said the category on inappropriate information was poorly defined and was another form of “White Terror.”
During the White Terror era, all publications in the country were censored by the government.
The commission said comparing what WIN does to the White Terror era was inaccurate.
“Advanced democracies all over the world have tried to loosen their control over online content, requiring Internet service providers to exercise self-discipline and allowing citizens to jointly monitor online content. This is done to prevent children and teenagers from being exposed to information detrimental to their physical and mental health. The commission has no intention of restricting access to Internet services, nor is it possible for the commission to launch a mass surveillance program of online commentaries,” it said.
Huang Chin-yi (黃金益), director of the commission’s communication content department, said the protection agency will replace WIN on Jan. 1 next year and handle complaints over online content, study the use of Internet by children and teenagers, and enforce the Internet content rating system.