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The police in Taiwan asked Plurk to hand over users’ registration details and IPs

29/03/2010

I haven’t been posting and responding at all over the past two months because I’ve been really snowed under. I do apologise. I’m still very busy and can’t resume my full blogging mode yet. However, today I’m going to share briefly a shocking news I’ve just come across.

One of the Plurk’s founders Alvin Woon posted a message on Plurk, saying that he’s recently been asked by the police for Plukers’ personal information, IP addresses and records of their messages. Alvin was wondering what would be the due process in relation to privacy in Taiwan, as so far, he has only received a letter from the prosecution but no court orders.

Frank Hsieh (a qualified lawyer and a human rights lawyer in the martial law era) immediately clarified for everyone that unless the court deems it necessary for criminal investigations, it is actually illegal in Taiwan to breach Plurkers’ privacy and Plurk has the responsibility to safeguard Plukers’ rights.

A DPP Taipei City Councillor, Chuang Ruei-hsiung, immediately asked the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Taipei City Police Department whether they have approached Plurk for users’ personal information. They denied it. Chuang then asked a police chief in one of the local precincts and the police chief confirmed that their precinct on average would only make about 10 enquiries to Plurk in a month and that the CID has done it the most often.

The president of the Taiwanese Blogger Association, Dr. Billy Pan, also posted a message, telling fellow Plurkers not to panic and if they ever get interrogated by the police, the TBA will provide them with legal assistance.

NB. There are a lot of green supporters on Plurk. Influential figures and politicians in the DPP such as Frank Hsieh and quite a few DPP legislators and councillors have all become very popular Plurkers. This has become one of the means they bypass the biased media and communicate directly with the public about their critiques of the KMT administrations or their side of the story when there’s any unfair attack from others. Their relative success in this respect may have been the reason why the police under the KMT government is doing this. Many Plurkers expressed that they hoped Plurk would stand up to the pressure rather than following Yahoo’s example.

I’ll try and update as fast as I can.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 29/03/2010 13:59

    Wow…
    Words are failing me…
    But… Finally, why am I not surprised?

  2. 29/03/2010 14:33

    Very scary. Thanks for this, Claudia

  3. gregorylent permalink
    30/03/2010 08:45

    singapore, taiwan, china … something in the air

  4. 01/04/2010 03:56

    I want to say I’m surprised, but then again, who are we kidding? The KMT, originating from China, are doing something similar to what China is doing. The whole debacle with Google leaving China is because of China’s e-attacks on human rights activists and others who don’t fall in line with their agenda (although they deny it).

  5. Adam permalink
    03/04/2010 00:53

    Yes, this is scary.
    Richard,
    I don’t think Google is as principled as you think. They censored seach results for years in China without a word. I think they also left this back door open for the US government to hack and snoop and the Chinese government got in through that back door-according to an article I read, but I’m not enough of an expert to confirm that it is true.

  6. Jade permalink
    07/04/2010 21:12

    Is Taiwan becoming a secrete police state again? Democracy goes back 30 years I’m afraid. If people don’t wake up, I hope they have a reason to explain to their children when someday the white terror becomes omnipresent AGAIN.

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