Taiwan introduces stiffer penalties for leaking, selling secrets to China

National Security Information Protection Act amendment to increase maximum penalties passes Legislative Yuan

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(stock photo from Pixabay)

(stock photo from Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After a third reading on May 7, the Legislative Yuan passed amendments to the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法) which will see stiffer punishments for those who jeopardize Taiwan’s national security.

In order to dissuade potential spies or traitors from leaking, selling, or otherwise delivering critical information to hostile states like China, the government has altered the National Security Information Protection Act to increase prison sentences for offenders.

According to the new amendments, persons found guilty of leaking or delivering state secrets to foreign governments will receive a prison sentence of three to ten years. Under the previous laws, the punishment for such an offense was between one and seven years.

Additionally, Taiwanese citizens who are found to be cooperating with agents of a hostile foreign state with the intent to steal or leak information that would compromise national security, will receive a prison sentence of between one and seven years. The previous maximum penalty was five years for such an offense.

Further, under the new legislation, criminal sentences can be increased by up to 50 percent depending on the nature of the compromised material involved in the case. If the case involves classified or top secret info, a person found guilty of leaking or delivering the information may receive a maximum sentence of 15 years, reports UDN.