A Hong Kong Internet service provider said on Thursday that it had banned access to a democratic website to comply with Hong Kong’s national security laws.
The Hong Kong Broadband Network said in an emailed statement on Thursday that it had banned access to HKChronicles, which collected information on “yellow” shops that support the city’s democratic movement and published personal information as well as police and pro-Beijing Photo. Supporters in anti-government protests in 2019.
The company said: “We have prohibited access to this website in accordance with the requirements issued by the National Security Law.”
The United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada joined the comments on the mass arrests in Hong Kong
The editor-in-chief of the site, Naomi Chan, said in a post last week that Hong Kong users reported that the site was inaccessible. She accused SmarTone, China Mobile Hong Kong, PCCW and Hong Kong Broadband Network and other telecommunications companies to block it.
China Mobile Hong Kong and SmarTone did not immediately comment. A PCCW spokesperson said there was no comment on the matter.
Chan advises Hong Kong people to “prepare as early as possible to deal with the larger-scale Internet congestion in the future and face the darkness before dawn.”
The blockade of the “Hong Kong Chronicle”
It also exacerbates concerns about Internet restrictions in Hong Kong, similar to China’s “Internet firewall”, which is a censorship system on the mainland Internet, blocking foreign search engines and social media platforms (such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter), and scrubbing the Internet Keywords are considered sensitive by the Chinese government.
Glacier Kwong, a digital rights and political activist living in Germany, wrote on Twitter last week that Hong Kong has “abused legal procedures and other means to obstruct the free flow of online information” in the past 18 months.
She said: “The Hong Kong government has stifled the freedom of Hong Kong people on the Internet.” “The open Internet has always been the cornerstone of freedom in a certain place. Undermining the freedom of the Internet will also destroy the flow of information, the freedom of dissemination, and the freedom of the press.”
Beijing implemented a national security law against Hong Kong in June last year aimed at quelling dissent in the semi-autonomous territory. Previously, peaceful large-scale demonstrations against the now withdrawn extradition bill turned into months of anti-government protests, sometimes even triggering violent conflicts.
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The Public Security Law criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces to interfere in urban affairs.
According to Article 43 of the National Security Law, the police have the right to order “the person who posted the information or the relevant service provider to delete the information or provide assistance.”