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Hong Kong, Jul 7 (Canadian-Media): Hong Kong authorities moved quickly to implement the new anti-protest security law after it took effect on June 30, media reports said.
Tik Tok. Image credit: Twitter handle
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam is authorized by the rules to intercept communications and conduct surveillance to "prevent and detect offences endangering national security."
Some pro-democracy slogans like the widely used "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time," and protests would be criminalized.
370 arrests have been made by Hong Kong police.
Under implementation rules of Article 43 of the national security law, the city police have the power to enforce the legislation, platforms, publishers and internet service providers to be ordered to take down any electronic message published that endangers national security.
The social media companies and messaging apps including Facebook, Zoom, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google and Twitter balk say they are assessing implications of the security law.
Last week, Tik Tok was one of 59 Chinese apps banned in India, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US is “certainly looking at a ban.”
TikTok, which is owned by China-based tech company ByteDance, said in a statement that it will end operations of the short-form video app in Hong Kong “in light of recent events.”
Facebook and its messaging app WhatsApp said in separate statements Jul 6 that they would freeze the review of government requests for user data in Hong Kong, "pending further assessment of the national security law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with international human rights experts."
Zoom and Microsoft's LinkedIn issued similar statements on Tuesday.
Mike Ravdonikas, a spokesperson for the company Telegram said Telegram has never shared any data with the Hong Kong authorities in the past and does not intend to process any data requests related to its Hong Kong users.
Twitter and Google have taken similar measures.
Service providers who do not comply with such requests could face fines of up to 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($17,506 Cdn) and receive jail terms of up to six months.
Police is empowered to conduct searches for evidence without a warrant in "exceptional circumstances" violators of the national security law are ordered to surrender their travel documents, preventing them from leaving Hong Kong.
Individuals who post pro-democratic messages may also be asked to remove the message, or face similar fines and a jail term of one year.