Taiwan: Taoyuan County Council Passes Bill to Thoroughly Investigate NTDTV Signal Interference Case

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The NTDTV Asia-Pacific satellite signal blockage case is receiving political attention in Taiwan. There, 104 legislators and councilors signed a petition asking the National Communication Commission (NCC) to thoroughly investigate the case and publicise the results. The Taoyuan County Council recently passed a motion demanding the county government to offer assistant in the investigation. County Magistrate Wu Chih-Yang and speaker of the Council Tseng Chung-Yi both showed their support for the investigation.

In the eighth meeting of the sixteenth session, Taoyuan County councilor Huang Chih-ming proposed the motion to ask the Taoyuan County government to assist the investigation of NTDTV's satellite signal blockage case. Eight other councilors second the motion and none objected.

This was the first time in Taiwan that the signal of a civilian TV station has been abnormally blocked for such a long time. The broadcasts during the time slots of signal blockage focused on people's lives, human rights, and security issues in China. Chunghwa's ST1 signal began experiencing sporadic blockage on September 17th, which increased to several hours a day. On October 1st, the highly politicized anniversary of China's communist revolution, the signal was blocked for the entire day.

Cheng Wen-Tsan, former director of the Government Information Office, said that to block a satellite takes the power of a state. Cheng believes that it was the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) white terrorism systemically interfering with freedom of speech. Cheng pointed out that the CCP used the same technique to block CNN's signal after the June 4th Massacre took place.

Attorney Lin Fong-cheng previously worked for Radio Taiwan International (RTI). He said that RTI is an internationally accepted legal channel in Taiwan that broadcasts to overseas countries. It broadcasts to China using short wave. "There is not one day RTI's signal was not interfered with," said Lin.

Lin believes that NTDTV's signal was blocked by the CCP. Lin said, "It can block NTDTV's signal today, then it can block the disaster relief and prevention system tomorrow or other news stations."

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