Written by Sam Robbins. Recent data breaches in Taiwan have also highlighted the difficulty of increasing Taiwan’s overall cybersecurity. In December, Legislator Chiu Hsien-Chih revealed that the personal data of over 23 million Taiwanese people (effectively the entire population of Taiwan) had been leaked online. This data seems to have come from Taiwan’s household registration system. When the leak was first revealed in October, Taiwan’s interior ministry denied any wrongdoing or that the data came from their database. After investigation, the ministry claimed they could find no record of any breaches or anomalies in their system.
Can g0v International Affairs Really be Open?
Written by chihao. Contributors of g0v started various discussions on international community affairs in late 2018, after the g0v Summit that year and other governance-related conversations some months before that. Like many things in g0v, these efforts to engage with international organisations and people were largely self-initiated. No permission was required since none could be given. However, unlike many things in g0v, there are little to no public records of these activities, such as correspondence, meetings notes, or slide decks. Open collaboration becomes very difficult, if not impossible, without shared documentation of these activities. Also, unlike many things in g0v, some were paid for their role in these international activities. Discrepancies between a paid full-time job and part-time volunteering work further exacerbate the difficulties.
Can g0v Be Replicated Abroad?
Written by Sam Robbins. The best answer is thus that g0v could be replicated abroad, but it should not be. G0v is unique in the specific ways it approaches problems but thoroughly un-unique in being a group of activists dedicated to solving problems. We cannot forget the second part of this when we reflect on the first part. How activists come together to work towards a common goal depends deeply on political contexts. Tech and civil society can collide in a range of different forms. A look at the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) members, a global network of civil society groups promoting equality through information and communications technology, also reveals that many groups are already engaging with digital technology as a liberating tool.
The Bot Fighting Disinformation: The Story of Cofacts
Written by Billion Lee. Disinformation affects everyone, but everyone can become part of the solution. This is a simple idea that powers Cofacts and many other g0v projects. Although Cofacts has had experts contribute and have worked with other organisations, the fact-checking process is open to all. Disinformation breeds distrust and polarisation, but collaborative fact-checking breeds trust and collaboration. When governments get too involved in fighting disinformation, it can look like an infringement on free speech. That is why it is so important for civil society groups to get involved. The process can be slow: disinformation spreads earlier than fact-checking, but just like the tortoise and the hare, our strength lies not in our speed but our innovation and resilience. Cofacts is fighting the long fight, and it is only possible by creating a structure that is open to anyone and for everyone.
Labours of g0v: Rethinking Work from the Perspective of Data Activists
Written by Aaron Su. How does such civic tech activism – whose results have indeed been transformative – proceed amidst limited resources and a wide variety of training and vocations? Beyond the material outputs of g0v, we must also not forget what activists and scholars have had to say about the distribution of infrastructural or emotional labour within grassroots or activist communities. There are members whose caretaking, organizing, and managing help to reproduce the bare conditions for activist work in the first place. Others have further written about the particular costs of serving as a digital activist, noting that such practices often intensify demands on members in ways inflected by class background, gender, and other social factors.
A Hub for Flexibility and Innovation. My Experiences with the g0v Community
Written by Peter Cui. All projects above were born by the participant under the environment of flexibility, diversity, and vitality. In recent years, we have started a series of works under the project “sch001” to promote the open-source value and g0v society to the students at colleges and senior high schools in Taiwan. I am deeply persuaded that with more younger participants joining the organisation, more possibilities will come true in the next ten years of g0v society.
OTT in Taiwan: How Global Platforms Meet Local Productions and Politics
Written by Yu-peng Lin and Chang-de Liu. The development of over-the-top (OTT) media services is currently the main concern of Taiwan’s audiovisual industries. An OTT media service is an audiovisual streaming service provided directly to the audience by the Internet. The Taiwanese government wishes to strengthen this industry while also seeking balanced growth for international and local operators. For the latter, how to accelerate the production of their content in the face of global competition is the biggest concern. Furthermore, given the recent success of the Asian market, international operators are interested in co-producing content with Taiwanese companies.
A Sketch of Taiwan’s Digital News Media Landscape in the Twenty-first Century
Written by Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley; Yuan-hui Hu; Victoria Y. Chen; and Lihyun Lin. Crowdfunded journalism is no longer unfamiliar to Taiwanese people who care about the media ecosystem. Although journalism in Taiwan has been challenged by the powerful influences of political and business alliances in the news industry and the constant impact of ever-changing technological advances, crowdfunded journalism has provided a fresh possibility and lent financial assistance to independent media organisations and citizen journalism. All these undoubtedly positively affect the reconstruction of Taiwan’s news and media industry.
Semiconductor Competition: Opportunities for Taiwan
Written by Adhiraaj Anand. The Biden administration has put aside billions of dollars to improve semiconductor manufacturing capabilities in the US, whose global output fell from 37% in 1990 to 12% in 2020. Additionally, the EU Chips Act, proposed in 2022, seeks to make Europe a leader in semiconductor technology and maintain a secure supply of chips by increasing the continent’s market share in the semiconductor industry to 20% by 2030. Japan has similarly unveiled a strategy to promote indigenous semiconductor manufacturing to achieve a 40% global market share in next-generation power semiconductors, which are to be used in emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, by the end of the decade.
Let’s Stop Calling Taiwan a “Digital Democracy” (And Start Telling Better Digital Stories)
Written by Sam Robbins. This is what is at stake with how we tell digital stories: If we focus only on the tech itself and its impressive uses, we risk leaving most citizens feeling like they have no voice on the matter due to a lack of expertise. When we tell stories of civil society collaboration, of how governments are interacting with citizens, and of policies whose ramifications are much greater than the new data they create, we can start to create a space for greater public participation on these subjects.
At the Consumer’s Convenience – What the Convenience Store in Taiwan Offers
Written by En-chi Chang. The convenience store in Taiwan has been part of daily life in Taiwan. To stay competitive, convenience store retailers remain focused on providing customers with convenient offerings. The current trend echoing the international retail development is the digitalisation of products and customer services. Nevertheless, development such as unmanned stores and metaverse is still in the infant stage. It is exciting to observe whether Taiwanese consumers will well receive services such as 7-Eleven’s X-Store and FamilyMart’s O2 Meta and whether other convenience store retailers will follow this development.
The “Fruits” of Open Source: The Story of Open Hack Farm
Written by Sam Robbins. As alternative food movements continue to develop and food politics has risen higher on the political agenda in Taiwan, there is perhaps still more opportunities for growth and collaboration between those concerned with the future of how food is produced in Taiwan. For Chen, the primary concern is still sustainability and environmentally sensitive agriculture. Open data and open technology is just a means to the broader end of preparing Taiwan for an increasingly unstable climate future.