Thu, Nov 14, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ministry to step up anti-spying sweeps abroad

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) yesterday said that the ministry will step up communications security at overseas missions to guard against electronic spying.

“The ministry will improve and strengthen security measures at overseas missions,” Lin said.

Lin was responding to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), who had questioned why the nation’s representative office in the US has only conducted three anti-eavesdropping exercises during the past 10 years and its office in Japan has only conducted two such operations.

In Bangkok, where China has set up a Southeast Asian intelligence hub, Taiwan’s representative office has conducted only one anti-wiretapping sweep during the past 10 years, which was in 2005, the lawmaker said.

South Korea began using electromagnetic interference and installed radar systems in more than 10 of its embassies in the second half of the year to combat eavesdropping, Lin Yu-fang said.

He questioned what actions the ministry was taking.

The ministry’s Department of Civil Service Director of Ethics Wang Wen-shinn (王文信) said that the ministry conducts some sweeps of its offices every year, but because of its limited budget, priority is usually given to new offices or offices that are suspected of being bugged.

Wang said that Taiwan’s offices in Jordan, the EU and the US have conducted security sweeps this year, and that the missions in Bangkok and Chicago will be the top priorities next year.

As part of the ministry’s budget for next year, NT$2.75 million (US$93,000) has been allocated to phase out outdated equipment and to upgrade communications security equipment at the ministry and its 118 overseas offices next year, Wang added.

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