HK to bring in laws to curb doxxing, fake news - RTHK
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HK to bring in laws to curb doxxing, fake news

2021-02-04 HKT 13:25
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  • HK to bring in laws to curb doxxing, fake news
The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, says the government will introduce a series of new laws to tackle privacy infringements, hate speech and fake news.

At a Legco question-and-answer session on Thursday, Lam said such problems have proliferated on the internet over the past two years when Hong Kong was in the midst of anti-government protests and the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said these issues must be tackled carefully, adding that her administration will table legislative proposals after considering what other jurisdictions are doing.

One important area that needs to be looked at, Lam said, is how to better regulate public record searches in the SAR.

She said the current mechanism is prone to abuse and facilitate doxxing activities, and the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau is soon expected to table proposed legislative amendments to Legco to enhance personal data protection.

“The main idea [of data searches] is to provide convenience to the public and service users for specific purposes, such as property, vehicle and company transactions. Given the high level of concern shown by the society on protecting personal data privacy and given the acts of doxxing in recent years in which personal data has been obtained through inspection of registers, different government departments are currently reviewing the legal requirements and administrative arrangements,” she said.

In response, the chairman of the Journalists Association, Chris Yeung, called on the government to make clear that reporters' work would not be affected by the potential changes.

He accused the government of using doxxing as an excuse to curb press freedom.

"Carrie Lam has not categorically differentiated doxxing from, say, journalists' right to conduct searches for reporting purposes. They are two issues that should not be mixed up. It seems to us that doxxing has been used as an excuse to put restrictions on journalists and by doing so, putting curbs on press freedom and people's right to know," he said.

Former RTHK producer Bao Choy was arrested in November last year for allegedly breaching the Road Traffic Ordinance while conducting car licence plate searches for a documentary on the July 21 Yuen Long attacks.

The Transport Department has since launched a new service, which alerts people if their cars have been subject to a licence plate search.
Last updated: 2021-02-04 HKT 18:36