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Foreign ministry to step up security of overseas missions

ROC Central News Agency

2013/11/13 17:12:46

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) Foreign Affairs Minister David Lin said Wednesday the ministry will step up communications security at overseas missions to guard against electronic eavesdropping.

'The ministry will improve and strengthen security measures at overseas missions,' Lin said.

He was responding to Legislator Lin Yu-fang of the ruling Kuomintang who questioned why Taiwan's representative office in the United States has only conducted three anti-wiretapping sweeps since 2003 and its office in Japan has only conducted two such operations.

In Bangkok, where China has set up Southeast Asian intelligence hub, Taiwan's representative office has conducted only one anti-eavesdropping sweep over the past 10 years, in 2005, the lawmaker said.

South Korea began using electromagnetic interference and installed radar in more than 10 embassies in the second half of the year to combat eavesdropping, Lin said, and he questioned the actions being taken by Taiwan.

Wang Wen-shinn, the director of the ministry's Department of Civil Service Ethics, said the ministry conducts some sweeps of its offices every year, but because of its limited budget, the priority is usually giving to new offices or offices suspected of being bugged.

Wang said Taiwan's offices in Jordan, the European Union and the United States have conducted security sweeps this year, and the missions in Bangkok and Chicago will be the top priorities next year.

As part of the ministry's budget in 2014, NT$2.75 million has been set aside to phase out outdated equipment and upgrade communications security equipment at the ministry and 118 overseas offices next year.

(By Angela Tsai and Lilian Wu)

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