Wed, Oct 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet reviewing legislation to combat fake news

By Wang Chun-chi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A general review of the regulations is needed to ascertain which laws should be amended to combat the negative effects of fake news perpetrated by China against the government and Taiwanese society, Premier William Lai (賴清德) told a lawmaker yesterday at a question-and-answer session.

Lai was responding to a query from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), who asked about the government’s stance on fake news.

Lee asked which unit had jurisdiction over Internet-related policies, to which Lai replied that no agency yet exists and the government would act to rectify the matter.

The Executive Yuan has plans to remedy the situation, but whether it is to propose amending existing legislation or drafting special legislation regarding fake news is still under consideration, Lai said.

“Rest assured, this loophole will be closed,” Lai added.

Lee told Lai that the Cabinet should review the existing legislation to decide whether special legislation would be required.

The Cabinet should deliver a well-rounded plan by the end of the year to demonstrate its willingness to combat fake news and prevent the erosion of the nation’s democratic foundations, Lee said.

The government would do everything in its power to prevent China from destabilizing Taiwanese society via fake news, Lai said.

“China is the primary source of the threat to Taiwan,” Lai added.

Lai told People First Party Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) that he has tasked Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) with reviewing the existing legislation.

Chen asked whether Lai supported a proposal to amend the National Security Act (國家安全法) as a solution to the fake news issue.

Lai said that it was “fact” that China was using various channels to spread fake news.

“One could say that such actions are one of the major sources of discontent,” he said.

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