About internet censorship, a Hong Kong website which mainly publishes material about the antigovernment protests back in 2019 has had its user’s access blocked by the city’s internet service provides according to a report from Reuters.
The website which is called the HKChronicles started getting reports from its Hong Kong users about their inability to access the website since Wednesday according to the chief editor of the website.
“After discussing and investigating with our supporters, we found that some ISPs of Hong Kong have deliberately dropped any connection to our servers, so that the user could not receive replies from our servers, resulting in an inability to access our content,” chief editor Naomi Chan said in a statement.
In another report, the South China Morning Post cited unnamed source on Sunday that the Hong Kong police had invoked the city’s national security law for the first time in an attempt to block access to HKChronicles. The police force had started asking ISPs to halt access, citing Article 43 of the law, the newspaper reported.
“The police will not comment on specific cases,” a Security Bureau spokeswoman said in an emailed response to a Reuters request for comment. “In conducting any operation, the police will act on the basis of actual circumstances and according to the law.”
Furthermore, the Security Bureau stated offences endangering national security include secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities as well as collusion with foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security all offences which are punishable with up to life in jail according to the security law.
“All relevant action will be taken strictly in accordance with the law,” the spokeswoman added.
Based on the much disputed legislation which was imposed on Hong Kong back in June, the state police can request service providers to restrict access to electronic platforms or messages which is seen as a potential threat to the national security.
HKChronicles said that based on reports from users, the ISPs suspected of being involved in the blocking included Smartone, China Mobile Hong Kong, PCCW “and others”. It did not elaborate.
China Mobile, Smartone, and PCCW did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile both the government of Hong Kong and China Mainland, Beijing believes that some holes needs to be plugged in order to secure the country’s national security defenses which was exposed by of sometimes-violent anti-government and anti-China protests that rocked the global financial hub in 2019.
Democracy activists numbering 53 were arrested by the Hong Kong police on Wednesday making it the biggest crackdown since China had imposed its security law last year on the island city which has made people aware of the new authoritarian downturn Hing Kong had now taken.
“I think right now many users are being affected, but few websites are being affected. It seems like it’s a technology test, to test the influence of blocking websites to the entire Hong Kong network,” Chan told Reuters via the social media platform Telegram.