Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Former official complains over wiretaps

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Hsinchu County commissioner and Taiwan Provincial governor Lin Kwang-hua speaks to reporters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

A former government official in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration yesterday said the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) had improperly monitored his mobile phone from 2005 to 2010.

Former Hsinchu County commissioner and Taiwan Provincial governor Lin Kwang-hua (林光華) told a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei that the SID had wiretapped his mobile phone for five years, but did not notify him until last month, which was a violation of the law.

Lin said he suspected that one of his neighbors, who he said had found unusual telephone records, was also bugged by the SID.

Law enforcement officials are required to notify the person they are monitoring as soon as the wiretap ends, according to the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法), DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said.

“The delayed notification was a violation of the law. Moreover, we suspect that the SID conducted political monitoring on Lin because the division cited the National Intelligence Services Act (國家情報工作法) on the wiretap application as the reason for the surveillance,” Lee said.

Investigators have been exploiting wiretapping capabilities, Lee said, adding that 440 wiretaps per million people were carried out in Taiwan from 2008 to 2012, while the number in Japan was 29.4.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said the SID had sent Lin’s case to the Hsinchu District Prosecutors’ Office on July 13, 2012. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office declined to comment because the case was currently under investigation.

The SID yesterday did not give a direct answer on whether it had wiretapped Lin.

It said it had investigated a case involving Lin and that the case was transferred to the Hsinchu District Prosecutors’ Office on July 3, 2012.

As the district prosecutors’ office is still investigating the case, its contents could not be revealed, it added.

Additional reporting Rich Chang

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