The National Communications Commission (NCC) is seeking to redefine Type-II telecommunication services through a public hearing in view of controversies generated by the text-messaging application Juiker (揪科).
The application was jointly developed by the government-affiliated Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and LofTech Corp as part of the government’s efforts to prevent leaks of confidential government information via the use of popular instant-messaging applications, such as Line and WhatsApp.
In addition to allowing users to send messages via the Internet, users can make domestic and international landline calls or call mobile telephone numbers at a lower rate using Juiker.
Based on the current regulations, Juiker developers are obligated to obtain a Type II service license if they allow people to make landline calls or mobile telephone calls, as Skype did.
However, the developers did not do so.
NCC spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said that many instant-messaging applications enable users to make telephone calls over the Internet.
He said that the commission must first determine if Juiker technically offers a “data service” or a “telecom service.”
He also said that the Type-II operators are currently defined as those that lease the network from Type-I operators to offer their services.
The commission might face problems enforcing laws using the same definition in the future, because Juiker leases the network from a Type-II operator and is able to circumvent current regulations.
When considering the issue, the commission would have to ensure that there is fair competition in the market and consumers reap the most benefits, Yu said.
“If we consider that these applications offer telecom services, then it would not be fair to the Type-I or Type-II operators because these application operators not are currently obliged to pay into the telecommunication universal fund, which was established to support telecom services in economically advantaged areas,” he said.
“We do not want to kill any innovative services by stipulating strict regulations, either. Therefore, we want to hear from the public to determine what the best option is for consumers,” Yu added.
Last year, the commission submitted proposals for five new acts to the Executive Yuan to tackle challenges in the digital convergence era.
Yu said that the commission has yet to determine which of the draft acts would regulate applications like Juiker.
Yu said that the Executive Yuan is scheduled to complete the review of the five new acts by the end of next month, adding that the commission might be able to add the regulations relevant to instant-messaging application in the new acts in time before they are sent to the Legislative Yuan.
If not, the commission can brief lawmakers when the acts are reviewed by lawmakers, he added.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung