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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Cabinet approves bills targeting scams


Premier Chen Chien-jen, second left, gestures to Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng, left, at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Premier Chen Chien-jen, second left, gestures to Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng, left, at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

2024/05/10 03:00

FIGHT WITH FRAUD: Severe fraud would be punishable by a sentence of three to 10 years and a fine of up to NT$30 million, Cabinet officials told a news conference

By Jonathan Chin / Staff writer, with CNA

The Executive Yuan yesterday approved a slew of bills targeting fraud by raising the penalty for convicted scammers, increasing police surveillance powers and compelling social media platforms to remove scam advertisements.

The bills aim to build a legal framework to aid the government’s fight against fraud, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) told a news conference in Taipei also attended by Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成), Ministry of Justice representative Kuo Yung-fa (郭永發) and Minister of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang (唐鳳) after an Executive Yuan meeting.

A proposed anti-fraud bill would define severe fraud as actions that cost victims NT$10 million (US$308,071) or more in losses, the officials said.

Severe fraud would be punishable by a sentence of three to 10 years and a fine of up to NT$30 million, they said.

A 50 percent sentencing enhancement would be applied to main offenders if the crime involved three or more co-conspirators, impersonation of government officials or use of deepfake technology, they said.

Repeat offenders would be subject to harsher sentences for each new conviction and lose the possibility of parole on their third jail sentence for committing severe fraud, they said.

The punishment could be lessened or remitted if the offender surrenders before the crime is discovered and returns all ill-gotten gains, the officials said.

Cooperation with authorities resulting in the main offender’s identification could also reduce or remit the penalty, they added.

A separate technological surveillance and protection draft act would empower police to use snooping devices, they said.

Police surveillance is to be governed by increasingly strict scrutiny with privacy violation and power abuse concerns in mind, officials said.

The bill defines conditions in which the use of surveillance devices is acceptable, they said, adding that previous rules governing the destruction of data obtained by snooping still apply.

Authorization of the use of GPS trackers, fake cell towers and thermal imagers or other devices capable of surveillance without physical intrusion would be subject to the least, intermediate and highest levels of scrutiny respectively, they said.

The bundle of bills included amendments requiring foreign-based social media platforms to register and have a legal representative in Taiwan to ensure compliance with measures targeting advertisements for scams, officials said.

Platforms that operate without a legal representative or do not comply with government orders to remove an ad would be subject to a fine of NT$2.5 million to NT$25 million, they said.

Severe breaches of the act could lead to other sanctions, including bandwidth limits and being blocked from the Internet in Taiwan, they said.

The standards for applying the proposed legislation on platforms are to be established administratively and would likely encompass Facebook, TikTok and Google, Tang said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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