The commission, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and project members had arranged for a tour in Germany to aid in our decision, but we discovered that 100 percent protection of information technology was simply impossible.
An example is that many routers manufactured by renowned international brands have seen wide use for many years before potential “backdoor” security risks are discovered.
Google Inc, Chang’s former employer, backed out of Chinese market due to repeated hacker attacks and the suppression of freedom of speech over the Internet in China.
The Presidential Office’s Web page had been hacked by student hackers, and the Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co could not prevent its system from being hacked, either.
How much faith would people have in a government with such a level of information security?
Once we allow Chinese investors and equipment to enter Taiwan, the risk becomes a danger that is then inherent in domestic information and communication channels.
No amount of prevention, inspection, evaluation, or supplementary measures added afterward could remedy the situation.
While the commission has publicly announced that as long as Chinese personnel are barred from the mainframe rooms then [information security] is considered secure, others have exposed an official document circulated within the commission titled “Principles on inviting Chinese personnel to enter mainframe rooms” showing that the commission’s public announcement is a sham.
In fact, in terms of modern technology, if one wished to tinker with the system they don’t need to enter the mainframe room personally; if the equipment is manufactured by Chinese investors or are repaired by them, internal backdoors can be builtin and remotely controlled.
LT: The government and Gou say that by refusing Chinese investors, it is implementing isolationism as China has invested in the telecom sector in other nations. What are your thoughts on this?
Lee: The commission has said that the US, Japan, India and any countries in the EU have allowed Chinese to invest in telecom sector, but the commission’s examples [serve to illustrate that] these countries limited Chinese investment to international telecommunication by allowing the links back to China, but not the operation of any domestic telecommunication businesses.
These countries have adopted such policies with full knowledge that the land-based end of international telecom back to China already holds the risk of surveillance and poses the same threat to public information security whether they allowed Chinese investors to invest.
However, the established domestic telecommunication service is different [from other countries.]
The US, Australia and the majority of nations across the world place limitations on their telecommunications based on national security.
The most commonly employed tactic by the government in face of opposing voices is to accuse them of wanting isolationism, or blaming it on the political feuds between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party.
The most commonly heard accusation against those who oppose the cross-strait service trade pact is that of anti-China sentiments.