HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong web service supplier on Thursday mentioned it had blocked entry to a pro-democracy web site to adjust to town’s nationwide safety regulation.
In a press release emailed on Thursday, Hong Kong Broadband Community mentioned that it had disabled entry to HKChronicles, a web site which compiled info on “yellow” outlets that had supported town’s pro-democracy motion and launched private info and photos of police and pro-Beijing supporters as a part of a doxxing effort throughout anti-government protests in 2019.
“We have now disabled the entry to the web site in compliance with the requirement issued beneath the Nationwide Safety Legislation. The motion was taken on 13 Jan PM,” the corporate mentioned.
The chief editor of the positioning, Naomi Chan, mentioned in a publish final week that customers in Hong Kong reported the positioning as inaccessible. Chan accused telecoms corporations corresponding to SmarTone, China Cell Hong Kong, PCCW and Hong Kong Broadband Community of blocking the web site.
China Cell Hong Kong and SmarTone didn’t instantly remark. A PCCW spokesman mentioned it had no touch upon the matter.
“Naomi Chan hereby denounces ISPs that cooperate with the Chinese language and Hong Kong authorities to limit the residents’ proper and freedom to entry info,” Chan mentioned in a publish on HKChronicles dated Jan. 7.
Chan suggested Hong Kongers to “make early preparations to counter future Web blockage at a bigger scale, and to face the darkness earlier than daybreak.”
The transfer to dam HKChronicles has intensified considerations that Beijing is asserting extra management over town and breaking its promise of letting the previous British colony preserve separate civil rights and political techniques for 50 years after the communist-ruled mainland took over in 1997.
It has additionally prompted fears that web freedoms in Hong Kong might be curtailed, akin to the “Nice Firewall of China,” a system of web censorship on the mainland which blocks overseas engines like google and social media platforms like Google, Fb and Twitter and scrubs the web of key phrases deemed delicate by the Chinese language authorities.
Glacier Kwong, a digital rights and political activist based mostly in Germany, wrote in a Twitter publish final week that Hong Kong has “abused authorized procedures and different means to hinder the freeflow of information on-line” within the final 18 months.
“The Hong Kong authorities is stifling Hong Kong individuals’s freedom on the Web,” she wrote in one other tweet. “An open Web has all the time been the cornerstone of freedom in a spot. Disrupting Web freedom additionally undermines the movement of knowledge, freedom of communication, and freedom of the press.”
Beijing imposed a nationwide safety regulation on Hong Kong final June, aimed toward quelling dissent within the semi-autonomous territory after mass peaceable demonstrations in opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition invoice later morphed into months of anti-government protests that at instances descended into violent clashes between protesters and police.
The safety regulation criminalizes acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with overseas powers to intervene within the metropolis’s affairs.
Below Article 43 of the nationwide safety regulation, police have the authority to order “an individual who printed info or the related service supplier to delete the data or present help.”