Why Taiwan’s Big Brother moves are of concern to us all

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 September, 2018, 2:00pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 September, 2018, 2:00pm

I refer to the article, “Is Taiwan becoming a surveillance state? Privacy advocates sound alarm”(September 9). Privacy is slowly becoming a controversial issue worldwide along with the inexorable advance of technology.

In the drive to protect digital and personal security, people have no privacy any more. As the report said, Big Brother is everywhere.

The government says it needs our personal information for safety reasons. However, being under surveillance online is a bigger cause for concern, as people indulge in the freedom to say whatever they want on the internet and especially on social media.

It is worrying to learn that the Taiwanese police is planning to spend US$16.2 million on developing a special app to enhance its power to monitor digital communications and that, according to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s book, Taiwan had accepted US$200,000 from Washington in 2012 to buy and develop advanced surveillance technologies able to tap private communications. This raises fears about thought policing and the violation of digital human rights.

Revealed: the advanced ‘black tech’ within reach of China’s police

I sincerely hope that Taiwan won’t really become a surveillance state. In fact, I wish the governments around the world didn’t need to spend such vast sums of money on newer and better modes of digital surveillance. But this can only happen if people are no longer suspicious of each other, so it’s probably impossible.

David Suen, Hong Kong