TAIPEI, Taiwan - National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Lee Shying-jow yesterday said that the bureau is hiring Internet safety experts and not hackers for its soon-to-be established Internet safety department, which is currently designated as the 7th Internet Operations Department.
Lee made the statement while conducting a question-and-answer session during a routine operations report to the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defence Committee.
During the session, Lee predominantly answered questions from Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim, who both formulated their questions around the idea that the employee candidates are regular civilian hackers who are not military personnel.
Lin said that that he was concerned about the detail of the establishment of the department.
The NSB faced 46,000 incidents of Internet attacks last year, Lin said, and that the nation definitely has an idea as to where the said attacks came from.
The KMT lawmaker said that the attacks are why legislators support the establishment of the department, but the lawmakers were also concerned with the listed civilian employees that are to be recruited.
Lin asked Lee to explain the legal status of such individuals: whether they would be full-time of just part-time employees, and what would be their military rank.
Lin also asked if a "Hacker Unit" were to conduct actions that violate the law, what would be the NSB's response to the crimes?
The legislators also said that the reason such individuals are expert hackers has a lot to do with their creativity, and said such people do not enjoy being confined.
As such, though the Legislative Yuan supports the idea, the NSB must have a detailed plan about the management of such individuals.
In response, Lee said that the NSB will not have hackers but only Internet safety experts.
Lee also said that such individuals would be hired as full-time staff following proper orientation and training, and that a detailed draft of the hiring process is currently being formulated, so that the employment of such individuals would be in accordance with the law.
Lee also said that he has seen two NSB officers conducting Internet safety operations. Although he did not understand the logic or the technical terms the two used, Lee said that he was impressed at how successful the operation was carried out.
What needs to be taught, Lee said, is the method to use such individuals to their full potential, and to the benefit of the nation.