Taipei, The Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice said on Friday it has cracked down on a cyber misinformation dissemination case which had claimed Taiwan was planning to intervene in the domestic politics in Thailand, thus solving the country’s first cyber national security case.
The bureau said two Taiwanese men, one surnamed Liu (劉) and the other surnamed Ying (尹), were questioned on Wednesday by the bureau’s cyber security investigation division and Hualien prosecutors for their roles in disseminating fabricated information that Taiwan was planning to team up with the United States to lend support to a democracy movement in Thailand.
The bureau said their act damaged Taiwan’s foreign relations and tarnished the country’s global image.
Accusing Liu and Ying of violating the National Security Act, the bureau submitted the case to Hualien prosecutors for further investigation, while the two men have been released, but barred from leaving the country or changing their residences.
According to the bureau, Liu and Ying disseminated through the internet the information first posted on a Twitter page managed by a user named “พระอาทิตย์,” who said on Nov. 20 in a message that Liu Chia-jung (劉家榮), deputy head of the bureau’s cyber security investigation division, sent an official letter to Presidential Office Secretary-General David Lee (李大維) to discuss the possibility of collaborating with the U.S. through the internet to promote a democracy movement in Thailand.
The two suspects also forwarded several fake photos first posted by “พระอาทิตย์,” which showed what was claimed to be the official letter Liu Chia-jung sent to Lee, in a bid to earn the trust of netizens, the bureau said.
Liu Chia-jung said, however, that he never wrote the letter and emphasized that the information disseminated by the two suspects was completely fabricated.
He added that despite the fact that the letter was fake, it could still mislead the public.
Liu Chia-jung said the bureau suspects that China’s “cyber army” is behind the Twitter account managed by “พระอาทิตย์.”
According to Liu Chia-jung, Liu and Ying, who belonged to a Chinese social organization on Facebook called Di Bar, went to Xian in August 2019 to receive training as part of the Chinese cyber army.
After they returned to Taiwan, Liu Chia-jung added, the two disseminated false information about Taiwan’s presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bureau said that China’s efforts to disseminate fabricated information through the internet have damaged Taiwan’s national security, which is equivalent to a war and urged the public not to be influenced by such misinformation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel