Smart Phones Will Be Allowed in Taiwan Obligatory Military Service

Smart Phones Will Be Allowed in Taiwan Obligatory Military Service
Photo Credit: 國防部青年日報

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The Army Command Headquarters has given order that soldiers in the obligatory military service will be allowed to use smartphones in the camp starting from next month. Regarding this, retired soldiers of the obligatory military say that the Ministry of National Defense has been forced to allow the use of smart phones because they are already everywhere in the camp.

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On October 14, Minister of National Defense Kao Kuang-chi replied to interpellation by legislator Lin Yu-fang at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Legislative Yuan. Kao says that the Army Command Headquarters has given order that soldiers in the obligatory military service will be allowed to use smartphones in the camp starting from next month. This will grant these soldiers equal rights as the navy, air force and military police. Regarding this, retired soldiers of the obligatory military say that the Ministry of National Defense has been forced to allow the use of smart phones because they are already everywhere in the camp.

Lin says that the army will hold information security workshops for the obligatory military and basic-level development officers. It will let those who want to use smart phones apply in advance, but the phones will only be allowed to use after completing the administrative process in signing a confidential letter and issuing a regulatory label.

CNA reports, Lin points out that using smart phones is beneficial to the military for they will maintain the stability of the soldier’s emotions as long as there are no leaks. Lin wants the military to know that times are changing. Kao says that the regulation of foreign troops regarding the use of smart phones is quite strict in terms of limited areas and time period.

Apple Daily reports, Lin issued a press release after the meeting, pointing out that although the Ministry of National Defense has allowed the use of smart phones in the military, but the army has so far banned the phones in obligatory military service camps; only voluntary soldiers have this permission. Those who work for the obligatory military feel discriminated and hold misunderstanding and resentment for the Ministry of National Defense.

ETtoday reports, soldiers who worked for the obligatory military say that smart phones are everywhere in the military. If the phones are not used during working hours, the authorities will not interfere. Regarding allowing soldiers to use smart phones, the Ministry of National Defense says it is just keeping up with the trend.

According to regulations, as long as smart phones are brought into the camp, they must be labeled with “regulatory labels." They can only use smart phones at appointed times and in particular places. When the soldiers pass into “the yellow zone," the smart phones should be taken over; in “the red zone,” the phones are under strict regulation. In addition, the guards in every department are asked to scrutinize the regulatory labels by the Ministry of National Defense.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang

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