Legislator grills minister over online military plans

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 3

Minister of National Defense Lee Tien-yu (李天羽) promised to deal with military information leaks yesterday after being confronted by a legislator with information about the nation's missile deployment plans obtained on the Internet.

"We take all information leaks seriously. Those involved in this leak will be brought to justice," Lee said when fielding questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Lien-fu (江連福) during a plenary session.

Chiang confronted Lee and Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) with defense plans involving missile and military force deployments, which he said he downloaded from the Internet.

Chiang said plans available online even included detailed information, such as the numbers of army unit personnel to be deployed in an attack scenario.

Lee said that missile range plans for every country are treated as "semi-public" information, adding that he could also find China's missile range chart on the Internet.

Chang said, however, that information on national defense must be confidential, adding that the information presented by Chiang on the deployment of armed forces was no exception.

The ministry was embarrassed last Tuesday after reporters from the Chinese-language Apple Daily published an article detailing their purchase of two bags of shredded paper from Chief of the General Staff Hou Shou-yeh's (霍守業) office for NT$40 at a recycling facility.

The reporters said they had deciphered information about the movement of Chinese and US armed forces as well as Taiwanese military drills from the papers.

Lee was angered by the leak to the Apple Daily, adding that the military needed to review its handling of confidential papers.

The ministry issued a press release after the report, saying that Hou's chief aide and the general staff's confidential secretary had been punished by being transferred to other positions, while Hou had been admonished.