SENSE OF URGENCY:
Amendments would increase jail time and fines for people who work with foreign entities to steal information about ‘core’ technologies
By Hsieh Chun-lin and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Personal Reporter, with a personal editor
Lawmakers hope to pass amendments providing tougher penalties for economic espionage by the end of the month, sources said on Saturday.
Lawmakers aim to pass three readings of draft amendments to the National Security Law (國家安全法) and the Law Governing Relations between People of the Taiwan-Mainland Region (兩岸人民關係條例) this month, sources said.
A bill to amend the National Security Law, which received preliminary review on April 7, would prohibit people from assisting China, Hong Kong, Macau, foreign countries or hostile forces abroad, or companies, organizations or persons controlled by them, to infringe on the trade secrets of the nation’s “core” technologies.
Violators under the law could face five to 12 years in prison or a fine of NT$5-100 million (US$168,577-3.37 million).
The amendment would also prohibit people from using and infringing on trade secrets of the country’s core technologies in China, Hong Kong, Macao and foreign countries, adding that violators could face three to 10 years in prison. imprisonment or a fine of NT$5 million to NT$50. million.
To expedite prosecutions, the amendment requires the High Court to hear national security cases at first instance, and the Intellectual Property and Trade Tribunal to hear economic espionage cases at first instance.
A draft amendment to the law governing relations between residents of the Taiwan region and the mainland region, which passed a preliminary review on March 25, would prohibit Chinese companies or Chinese-funded entities based outside of China to engage in business activities in Taiwan without government approval.
Violators face up to three years in prison and fines of up to NT$15 million, while anyone allowing Chinese-funded companies to use their name to operate in Taiwan faces fines ranging from NT$120,000 to 2.5 million NT dollars, according to the draft amendment.
Under the bill, corporations, groups, and members of entities mandated, subsidized, or invested to some degree by government agencies to engage in businesses involving the nation’s core technologies would need the government approval to travel to China.
The requirement would remain in effect for three years after the commission, grant or investment ends, or three years after the individual leaves office, and violators could face fines of $2 million to $10 million. NT dollars, according to the report.
During a negotiation in the Legislative Assembly’s Internal Administration Committee on Thursday, New Power Party lawmaker Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) proposed a motion asking the government to review and update regularly list the country’s core technologies, which legislators and government officials present at the meeting agreed to. and added to invoices.
The plans are to be negotiated at an inter-caucus meeting to be called by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly You Si-kun (游錫堃), the sources said.
The legislative session is due to end on May 31.
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