Asian industry groups including Google, Facebook and Twitter have threatened to withdraw from Hong Kong due to new anti-human search legislation.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, turned a deaf ear to warnings issued by large technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter that if the authorities continue to implement plans to amend the privacy law, they may withdraw from the Chinese-controlled city.
Lin told reporters on Tuesday that the proposed changes only target illegal “human flesh searches”—the practice of sharing personal privacy online without their consent.
This practice was censored in Hong Kong during the anti-government protests in 2019, when detailed police information was posted online and became the target of attacks. The home addresses of some police officers and their children’s schools were also exposed, and they and their families became threats.
The Hong Kong government is now proposing to amend the city’s privacy laws to include one year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to 1 million Hong Kong dollars (128,731 US dollars) for offenders who disclose personal data without consent-for the purpose of intimidating, harassing or harassing someone and Family members cause psychological harm.
On June 25, an Asian industry organization including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and LinkedIn wrote to the Hong Kong government, stating that although “human flesh search is a serious concern”, the proposed law Changes may result in “severe sanctions” for individuals.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the contents of the letter on Monday.
“Sanctions against individuals are not in line with global norms and trends,” the Asian Internet Alliance said in a letter, adding that any anti-human search legislation “must be based on the principle of necessity and proportionality.”
The organization warned: “The only way to avoid imposing these sanctions on technology companies is to avoid investing and providing services in Hong Kong, thereby depriving Hong Kong companies and consumers of the interests of Hong Kong companies and consumers, and also creating new trade barriers.”
However, Lin dismissed these concerns on Tuesday, comparing the new legal changes to those imposed by China. National Security Law She said it was “slandered and slandered”.
The National Security Law, which was implemented in June last year, punishes any behavior that Beijing considers secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces. Human rights organizations stated that the law has “Eliminated“Semi-autonomous Hong Kong is free, but the city government stated that after the protests in 2019, it has returned to stability.
With changes in privacy laws, Lin said her government only “searches for illegal human flesh and authorizes the privacy commissioner to investigate and conduct operations.”
She added that the city’s privacy committee would be happy to meet with representatives of the technology industry to deal with any anxiety they might encounter, but suggested that her government is determined to promote fast-tracking of new changes.
“Of course, it is ideal to alleviate this anxiety when we make legislation. But sometimes it needs to be proven through implementation,” she said.
On July 1, the centennial anniversary of the return of the former British colony to Chinese rule and the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, some residents mourned the death of a 50-year-old man who committed suicide before stabbing a policeman. Lin continued to express disappointment to some residents.
“For a long time, citizens have been affected by misconceptions, such as justice through illegal means,” Lin told reporters, adding that national security risks not only come from “public order” behavior, but also from ideology.
Lin said that government departments “should not allow illegal ideas to infiltrate the public through education, broadcasting, art and culture, beautify violence, and blind the public’s conscience.
“I also call on parents, principals, teachers, and even pastors to observe the behavior of teenagers around them. If some teenagers are found to be illegal, they must be reported.”