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Hong Kong Residents Are Erasing Their Own Internet Histories Before China’s Big Crackdown

Hong Kong Residents Are Erasing Their Own Internet Histories Before China’s Big Crackdown:

lovinghk:

(source: vice.com | 20 jun 2020) Kedros Ng has lived in Hong Kong his entire life. He studied engineering after leaving school and worked hard to build his civil engineering business from scratch.

Despite an unblemished criminal record, the 31-year-old last month downloaded over 10 gigabytes of data from his Facebook account and deleted it forever.

“You never know if the Chinese Communist Party of the Hong Kong government will dig through your history and arrest you for ‘harming national security,’” Ng told VICE News.

The reason for all this sudden self-censorship? The impending national security law that Beijing is about to impose on Hong Kong.

Officially, there is no online censorship in Hong Kong today. either by the Communist Party or by the Hong Kong government. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t digital censorship or surveillance of the city’s citizens. It just doesn’t happen the way it does on the mainland, where authorities simply block access to problematic content or remove offending comments.

“Censorship in Hong Kong is exercised by a climate of intimidation,” Kong Tsung Gan, an activist living in the city, told VICE News. “You see this most clearly in the mainstream media, many of which are beholden to the Party or fear that if they offend the Party, their business will suffer. The Party already directly owns a large portion of the book distribution and retail market.”

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