The EU has released its second Report on Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference (FIMI) Threats late last month, which stated that Ukraine was the most targeted country, but also found the Asia Pacific, including Taiwan, to be under similar attacks.
The EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS) published the report on Jan. 23, based on 750 investigated FIMI incidents between Dec. 1, 2022 and Nov. 30 last year.
FIMI “describes a mostly non-illegal pattern of behavior that threatens or has the potential to negatively impact values, procedures and political processes. Such activity is manipulative in character, conducted in an intentional and coordinated manner, by state or non-state actors, including their proxies inside and outside of their own territory,” the report said.
In the Asia-Pacific, a map in the report shows that Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia were also targeted.
In response to media queries about the attacks in the Asia-Pacific region, on which the report did not elaborate, the EEAS said a total of 12 cases targeting the region were recorded during the period covered, but also stressed that the EEAS’s “mandate and priorities are primarily focused on attacks against the EU coming from Russia.”
The EEAS listed several cases targeting Taiwan in the email.
One was a 300-page Chinese-language e-book slandering President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party, promoted via social media platform X, Web sites and press release distribution services in the weeks leading up to the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 13.
Another was an article denigrating Taiwan-US relations posted by the Chinese state-controlled Global Times and “laundered by Chinese FIMI infosphere Facebook pages,” the EEAS said. The article alleged that the US was using Taiwan to weaken China and that 30 political groups — mostly unspecified except for the pro-China Labor Party and Labor Rights Association — in Taiwan protested against Tsai’s US visit.
There was also the case of Chinese state-affiliated media outlets China Daily and CGTN, within an hour of each other on Aug. 12, publishing articles depicting China’s view on the history of Taiwan and the alleged legal grounds for China’s claim on Taiwan, the EEAS said.
Meanwhile, the report stated that “AI usage in FIMI is minimal,” a finding that is at odds with what Taiwan AI Lab has found in its research on Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections, which indicated generative artificial-intelligence (AI) has been widely used.
The EEAS responded to media question about the gap, saying they found most attacks in the 750 cases identified in the report were still conducted with low-cost, traditional manipulation techniques, but that the team is “well aware of the wide use of AI content during the latest Taiwanese elections and ... can expect similar AI-charged FIMI this year.”
The FIMI attack targets are global, EEAS said.
Ukraine was the most targeted country, with 160 cases recorded, while the US was targeted in 58 cases, followed by Poland with 33, Germany with 31 and France with 25, it said.
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The