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Ma's phone 'unlikely' target of US spying, says Taiwan security chief

Publication Date : 29-10-2013


It is unlikely that security agencies from the United States are monitoring the phone calls of President Ma Ying-jeou because Taiwan is friendly toward the US government, Taiwan's National Security Bureau (NSB) chief said yesterday.

“I would not say with absolute certainty that the U.S. will not spy on President Ma's phone calls, but I would say it is unlikely the country would do so,” said NSB Director-general Tsai De-sheng yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in response to lawmakers' questions on the issue.

Washington considers Taipei friendly and would not put the country atop a list of spying targets, Tsai noted.

He added that the phones Ma uses are secure ones provided by the NSB and cannot be easily tapped by other countries.

Tsai, however, said that China is still the biggest threat to Taiwan in terms of eavesdropping, as the NSB believes Beijing has been “extensively” wiretapping Taiwan's phone calls for years.

Tsai made the comments yesterday amid foreign media reports that America's National Security Agency (NSA) has been accused of listening in on phone calls of 35 world leaders, including those of longtime US allies such as Germany and France.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francios Hollande both demanded talks with the US by year-end amid allegations that they were spied on by the NSA, foreign media reports said.


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