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Key Points of the Amendment on The Classified National Security Information Protection Act

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  • Last updated:2019-08-20
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     The Classified National Security Information Protection Act has been enforced for more than 15 years since October 1, 2003.  Among them, the legislative intent of Article 26 is to take into account the national security and interests of state secrets, so that the exit control provisions of this article are formulated.  In practice, however, the organs have adopted the normal course of shortening the period of exit control, and most have failed to consult the state secrets approved authorities, thus not conforming to the legislative intent.

     In order to strengthen the exit management mechanism of secret-related personnel and retired, resign or handed over business personnel, and to deter those who discloses or provides, inquires or gathers state secrets, the Ministry of Justice formulated a draft amendment to some provisions of the Law on The Classified National Security Information Protection Act on January 5, 2017.  The amendment was sent to the Legislative Yuan for consideration on July 7, 2017 after it was reviewed and adopted by the Executive Yuan.  On May 7, 2019, the Legislative Yuan passed the Draft Amendment to Some Provisions of The Classified National Security Information Protection Act on the third reading. The main points of the amendment are as follows:

  1. Amend the period of exit control for persons whose business involving confidentiality after it retired, resign or transfers their operations, from the current prescribed control period of three years, may be shortened or extended as circumstances permit and shall not be shortened, and may be extended as circumstances. The extension period shall not exceed three years and shall be limited to one time, except in the case of paragraph 1, Article 12 (State secrets involving sources or pipelines of national security intelligence), so that it can be controlled for up to six years. (Article 26 of the Amendment). 
  2. In response to the current threat of foreign, mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and foreign hostile forces and to more effectively prevent the disclosure of state secrets, to amend the criminal liability of those who discloses or provides approved state secrets or state secrets that have been reported to approved. Any person who discloses or provides state secrets to foreign countries, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao or foreign hostile forces or their dispatchers may be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years. Those who prepare or conspire to commit crimes shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than two years. When the state secrets were discloses or provides are classified as a level of top secret or is formulated as being top secret shall be sentenced to the increase of his penalty to one-half. (Articles 32 and 33 of the amendment)
  3. In response to the current threat from hostile forces in foreign countries, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and overseas, and in order to prevent the leakage of state secrets more effectively, amend the penalties imposed on those who inquires or gathers authorized state secrets or apply for authorization of state secrets. A person who inquires or gathers state secrets for foreign countries, mainland regions, Hong Kong, Macao, foreign hostile forces or their dispatches may be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than seven years, a preparatory or conspirator to imprisonment of not more than one year.  A person who has inquires or gathers a top secret or whose formulation as a top secret shall be increased to one-half of his sentence. (Articles 34 of the Amendment)
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