Aca­demics crit­i­cize Ko park­ing cam­era plan

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

Sev­eral law ex­perts from Na­tional Tai­wan Uni­ver­sity (NTU) yes­ter­day joined a dis­trict court judge who crit­i­cized Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s ( ) idea of us­ing sur­veil­lance cam­eras to ar­rest in­di­vid­u­als who vi­o­late Taipei City park­ing poli­cies.

Taoyuan Dis­trict Court Judge Chien Chien- jung ( ) sub­mit­ted a let­ter to the Chi­ne­se­lan­guage Lib­erty Times in protest of the idea the mayor pro­posed in his Taipei City Traf­fic Re­port. Ko said that he wants to use cam­eras around the city to catch park­ing vi­o­la­tors, es­pe­cially in ar­eas where park­ing vi­o­la­tions oc­cur most of­ten.

In his let­ter, the judge stated that gov­ern­ment agents have long disregarded Tai­wan’s Per­sonal In­for­ma­tion Pro­tec­tion Act (

). The judge went on to say that all lev­els of Tai­wan’s gov­ern­ment tend to suf­fer from self- pro­claimed right­eous­ness and feel em­pow­ered to in­ter­fere in peo­ple’s per­sonal lives.

Chien said that the pro­posal re­minded him of the Bri­tish writer Ge­orge Or­well’s novel “Nine­teen Eighty-Four,” in which the au­thor de­scribes a quasi-di­vine gov­ern­ment leader known as “Big Brother,” a charis­matic fig­ure­head who gov­erns all as­pects of his cit­i­zens’ lives.

An in­crease in po­lice man­power and the use of sur­veil­lance cam­eras are not so­lu­tions to the prob­lem, the judge said.

He sug­gested Ko should

in- ves­ti­gate why il­le­gal park­ing is so com­mon and seek ways to in­crease park­ing spa­ces for mo­torists in Taipei.

Ko re­sponded to the crit­i­cism, say­ing a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion was to be ex­pected in a demo­cratic so­ci­ety.

How­ever, the mayor went on to say that his de­ci­sion to use cam­era sur­veil­lance was fi­nal. He con­ceded that he would not use all of the 14,000 cam­eras avail­able. In­stead, cam­era use would be limited to il­le­gal park-

ing hotspots.

Law Does Not Serve Ko: NTU

Law Ex­perts

Sev­eral pro­fes­sors from NTU joined the judge in con­demn­ing the mayor’s sur­veil­lance plan.

NTU Col­lege of Law pro­fes­sor Lee Mau-Sheng ( ) took to so­cial me­dia to say that apart from the im­por­tance of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion pro­tec­tion, the dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion be­tween a right­eous and evil per­son is like­wise just as cru­cial, so that peo­ple are able to ob­serve and un­der­stand the abuse of power.

Pro­fes­sor Liu Ching-yi ( ), of the Grad­u­ate In­sti­tute of Na­tional Devel­op­ment at NTU, also crit­i­cized Ko’s state­ment for not ad­dress­ing the im­pli­ca­tions his pro­posal would en­tail for per­sonal pri­vacy.

Dur­ing a press in­ter­view yes­ter­day, Ko said that only 10 il­le­gal park­ing hotspots would be tar­geted, and that his de­ci­sion was in the public in­ter­est and that sur­veil­lance cam­eras have been in use to catch traf­fic vi­o­la­tions for a long time on high­ways and free­ways.

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