Friday, May 08, 2009

Widening the door for PRC spying

The announcement on Wednesday last week that Far EasTone Telecommunications Co intended to sell a 12 percent stake to China Mobile Ltd following a decision by the government to allow Chinese institutional investors to invest in Taiwan’s equity market was understandably welcomed by financial analysts. But behind the deal — which will require government approval — lies a world of dangers.

While a 12 percent minority stake in a firm may appear innocuous, the target sector — telecommunications — is a sensitive one, as it touches on matters of individual liberties and freedom of expression. In democratic countries, intelligence agencies must obtain a warrant before they can intercept someone’s conversations on mobile phones, land lines or via electronic means of communication such as the Internet.

Op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here .

No comments: