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Taiwan's technology highlighted at international forum on democracy

2018/11/10 21:47:40

Alex Gladstein (standing on stage)

Taipei, Nov. 10 (CNA) Helping to preserve Taiwan's freedom and sovereignty is key to ensuring cellular data security and mobile privacy, Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), said at an international forum in Taipei on Saturday.

In his opening address at the 2018 Oslo Freedom Forum in Taiwan, Gladstein asked the audience if they have phones in their pocket and said that "all of you have in your pockets Taiwanese technology."

"The TSMC makes enormous amounts of all the devices that we use in our pockets. That's very important. That's freedom and sovereignty," Gladstein said, referring to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world's largest contract chipmaker.

He said the world would be a very different place in terms of protection of data and privacy if Taiwan and its independent companies that make semiconductor equipment did not exist, because China makes all the rest of the semiconductor equipment.

"So I would ask you, if you haven't thought about why you want to support Taiwan, if you care about your data, your privacy records, you should come to support Taiwan," Gladstein said at the first regional HRF forum in Asia.

The decision to choose Taiwan to host the satellite forum of the HRF in Asia was aimed at sending a message that "we all stand with Taiwan," Gladstein said.

Based in New York, the HRF is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

The speakers at Saturday's forum included world renowned activists from countries such as Egypt, Bahrain, Eritrea, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Gladstein said Taiwan was chosen as the host country over other options in Asia, such as South Korea and Japan, partly because "Taiwan is an inspiration to a lot of people around the world who are fighting for human rights."

There is much to learn from Taiwan's experience of transforming from an authoritarian country to a democracy, he said.

Before the forum ended Saturday, the HRF announced that its second regional forum in Asia will also be held in Taipei, in November 2019.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)