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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President vows no illegal eavesdropping

ROC Central News Agency

Taipei, July 3 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday that neither government agencies nor private companies in Taiwan should engage in illegal eavesdropping.

Ma made the remarks in a news release issued by the Presidential Office after he inspected eavesdropping units at the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice, the National Police Agency and the Military Intelligence Bureau earlier in the day.

Ma said that law enforcement agencies' wire tapping operations must be "legal" and "necessary."

He explained that the government's eavesdropping units must obtain an interception warrant in accordance with the Communication Security and Surveillance Act prior to launching any kind of eavesdropping operations.

He also noted that government units should not resort to wire tapping unless other means of crime investigation have proven ineffective.

In addition, Ma said the practice of eavesdropping in the private sector should also be deterred.

He instructed the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice to form a task force to crack down on illegal private eavesdropping in an effort to protect local citizens' privacy.

Ma, who took office May 20, called for a comprehensive ban on political eavesdropping during his election campaign.

In his inaugural address, he also pledged that "Taiwan's democracy should not be marred by illegal eavesdropping, arbitrary justice and political interference in the media or electoral institutions." (By T.C. Jiang) ENDITEM/J 

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