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Poll shows worry over communication privacy

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) yesterday released the results of its survey, saying that public satisfaction with communication privacy and freedom has dropped in Taiwan.

According to Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who doubles as the chairman of the TFD, the results indicate that the government is in need of improvement.

The speaker added that the issue of communication privacy and freedom has been a focal point of public discourse over the past three months.

In September, the Special Investigation Division held a press conference and said that according to its wiretaps, Wang had been involved in influence peddling, leading to what was described by local media as a power struggle between the Ma administration and the legislative speaker.

The TFD announced its survey results at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, touching upon various categories which were scored between one and five points, with one indicating “very dissatisfied” and five indicating “very satisfied.”

According to the TFD poll, those surveyed gave 2.7 points in terms of the government's efforts to ensure human rights. Within the broader category of human rights, respondents gave 2.8 points in terms of civil liberties and 2.5 points in terms of political rights.

Respondents gave 2.1 points in terms of health rights; meanwhile, 68 percent of those surveyed believe that food safety is the most important issue with regard to health.

Freedom of residence, freedom of religion, the right to vote, and civil servants' attitude all scored the highest with 3.8 points.

The lowest score, 1.8 points, was given to “non-corruption in government,” the only category to receive a score below 2 points.

“Non-external intervention of the judiciary” scored 2 points, while fair trials ranked 2.3 points.

Communication privacy and freedom dropped from 3.5 points in 2011 to 2.4 points this year.

However, the categories of government protection of the disabled and new immigrants, as well as gender and ethnic equality all rose, with government protection of new immigrants' rights scoring 3.6 points.

The survey was conducted by Shih Hsin University on behalf of the TFD between Nov. 28 and Dec. 5. A total of 1,068 individuals above the age of 20 were surveyed.

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