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June 28, 2017

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NSB-proposed anti-espionage bill under review by Cabinet

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A draft bill aimed at curbing foreign espionage has been submitted to the Executive Yuan for review, the National Security Bureau (NSB, 國安局) told local media yesterday.

The draft bill entitled "Information Surveillance and Control Act" focuses on foreign nationals living in Taiwan who do not have a registered residence, an unidentified NSB official told the Chinese-language United Evening News yesterday.

Opposition lawmakers have expressed concern that the draft bill, once it passes the legislative floor, could expand the NSB's powers.

The recent controversy regarding the United States National Security Agency's (NSA) alleged espionage activities against foreign countries made some lawmakers even more worried that the bill could infringe on the human rights of Taiwanese.

In response, the official said the main purpose of the bill is to curb possible foreign espionage and terrorist attacks, adding that it would not infringe on the rights of Taiwanese citizens.

The official said the bill is currently under the Cabinet's review and is listed as classified.

But the content of the bill will be declassified once it has been approved by the Cabinet and sent to the Legislative Yuan for review before ultimately becoming law.

The NSB hopes the bill can clear the legislative floor during the upcoming legislative session set to kick off later this month, the official said.

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