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Hong Kong’s first web site takedown below nationwide safety legislation confirmed

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HONG KONG: A Hong Kong Web supplier mentioned on Thursday (Jan 14) it had blocked entry to an internet site following a police order, the primary confirmed takedown utilizing a brand new nationwide safety legislation imposed by Beijing final 12 months.

In contrast to mainland China, Hong Kong has open Web entry, however critics of Beijing concern powers given to the police below the brand new legislation might herald the tip of that freedom.

Web customers observed the website HKChronicles was unreachable from some Hong Kong-based gadgets final week, and its proprietor put out a press release saying she believed authorities had been blocking entry.

Police declined to remark, however on Thursday Hong Kong Broadband Community – one of many metropolis’s Web service suppliers – confirmed a takedown order had been issued.

READ: Hong Kong police arrest 11 on suspicion of aiding activists’ escape try: Stories

“We now have disabled the entry to the web site in compliance with the requirement issued below the Nationwide Safety Regulation,” the corporate mentioned.

HKChronicles, which continues to be accessible abroad and in Hong Kong by way of digital non-public networks, is a controversial web site.

It ran lists of companies that help the democracy motion, and picked up tales and photographs from large and sometimes violent protests that swept Hong Kong in 2019 – with a specific deal with allegations of extreme police violence.

READ: Hong Kong grants bail to arrested pro-democracy activists

However after officers started eradicating figuring out badges throughout clashes with protesters, the web site began accumulating their private particulars – a tactic often known as doxxing, which is illegitimate in Hong Kong and lots of different jurisdictions.

It additionally listed the names and particulars of many pro-Beijing figures.

Comparable web sites doxxing pro-democracy supporters additionally exist.

Entry to the Web in China is impeded by a “Nice Firewall” that limits websites and knowledge that folks on the mainland can entry.

READ: Hong Kong arrests 53 activists for attempt to ‘overthrow’ govt with unofficial vote

READ: Condemnation swells over Hong Kong opposition mass arrests

China additionally employs a complicated censorship community which scrubs posts deemed delicate from the digital world.

However semi-autonomous Hong Kong stays exterior that firewall, an important part of its standing as a world enterprise hub.

Final June Beijing imposed a sweeping new nationwide safety legislation to crush dissent.

Amongst its many new provisions had been contemporary police powers to order web suppliers to take away web sites or content material deemed to breach nationwide safety, sparking fears the “Nice Firewall” is likely to be widened to sooner or later embody Hong Kong.

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