In the early April, Gao Yingpu, an editor-in-chief in Chongqing Chinese BusinessTimes, was taken away by police from his home in the morning, July 2010. He was sentenced for "crimes against national security" for three years, and was due to his criticism toward Chongqing’s authority on personal online diary. The news was released after he has been imprisoned for one and a half years.
Leung Chun-ying (CY), the forth Chief Executive of Hong Kong was elected by 1200 election committees on March 25, 2012. He is alleged as underground communist party member and violated freedom of speech in the past. A famous Hong Kong blogger Kay Lam’s Facebook account was suspended after posting a picture with caption “Finally the lights are all gone, The Death of Hong Kong 1841-2012”, just three hours after CY was elected as Chief Executive.
If stalking law was passed, Hong Kong journalist may no longer took their pictures at Henry Tang’s mansion in this way (Picture from)
[Note: The Hong Kong government is consulting the public on stalking. Journalists and activists are worried that their right of reporting and demonstration will be threatened. Chong Yiu-kwong, a Hong Kong lawyer, wrote articles to express view on this issue.]
Chinese original text:Ming Pao (25.2.2012)
Would the magnificent view of derrick cars lining up outside Henry Tang’s (Hong Kong former Financial Secretary, current candidate of Chief Executive election 2012) mansion still appear after stalking is legislated? Whoever from the pro-government camp win the election would very likely push for this regulation that shelter the powerful and the rich.
[Editor: The Hong Kong government is consulting the public on stalking. Journalists and activists are worried that their right of reporting and demonstration will be threatened. Chong Yiu-kwong, a Hong Kong lawyer, wrote articles to express view on this issue.]
Chinese original text Apple daily (27.2.2012)
The government is consulting the public on stalking. There have been a number of abuses in Britain after stalking was legislated. In 2007, Npower, a British energy company accused demonstrators for harassing their staff and applied for a restraining order according to anti-stalking acts in order to get rid of demonstrators and stop journalists from reporting. An exemption was granted after 3 months of legal process. Articles in The Guardian pointed out that the British anti-stalking acts had been used to suppress demonstrations. In 2001, a group of demonstrators who protested at a US military intelligence agency were prosecuted under the anti-staling acts as American staff felt harassed by the slogan “George W Bush? Oh dear!” written on the signboard held up by demonstrators. In 2004, a woman sent an email to the administration staff of a medicine company twice, urging them to stop using animals for experiments. Despite her politeness she was arrested. Laws in Hong Kong are greatly influenced by cases in Britain, abuses as such would easily happen frequently if stalking is legislated.
After Commissioner of Police (CP) Mr Tsang took office, his tough measures against the demonstrators have raised social concerns about the anti-stalking legislation. Law Reform Commission (hereinafter referred to as "LRC") published "anti-stalking" consultation document on 19 December last year which is called "The press 23" by the society. According to the document, stalking "may be described as a series of acts directed at a specific person which, taken together over a period of time, causes him to feel harassed, alarmed or distressed”. These acts might not be objectionable but, when combined over a period of time, interfered with the privacy and family life of the victim, and causing him distress, alarm or ever serious impairment of his physical or psychological well being. These acts may cause annoying or panic but still lawful at the beginning act, evolve into a dangerous, violent or likely to cause others to death. If a person ought to have known a course of conduct which amounted to harassment of the other, he should be guilty of a criminal offense. A maximum penalty would be a fine of $ 100,000 and imprisonment for two years, and with civil liability. The victim would be able to claim damages for any distress, anxiety and financial loss resulting from the pursuit and apply for an injunction to prohibit the stalker from doing anything which causes him alarm or distress.
According to the implementation of the “Beijing shi wei bo fazhan guanli you guan gui ding (Regulation on mirco-blogging in Beijing)” , the real-name authentication will be executed by the four popular microblogs in China from March 16. Theese include Sina (weibo.com), Sohu (t.sohu.com), Netease (t.163.com) and Tencent weibo (t.qq.com). Although this regulation claims to be “voluntary”, old users without real-name authentication are unable to post and forward messages anymore. They can only browse contents on the blog.
Translated by: Kenny Choi
Editor note: This article, originally published in inmediahk.net tells significant issues on free speech at Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Macao.
At the beginning of the year, the Office for Personal Data Protection of Macau government issued the Guidelines on Publication of Personal Data on the Internet. In addition to include individual identification information, private life, medical records and other information as “personal data”, the guidelines also consists of “data revealing philosophical or political beliefs, political society or trade union membership, religion and racial or ethnic origin.” The Guideline states that except the consent of the litigants has been acquired or their information been published, any sensitive information cannot be publicized. Daily practice on the internet today could infringe Personal Data Protection Act. Therefore people who concern with freedom of speech requested amendment of the Guidelines.
Hong Kong In-Media has published the e-version of its research work on Social Media and Mobilization at Amazon under the title: Social Media Uprising in the Chinese-speaking World.
This book is an elaborated study of the use of social media in grassroots struggles in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Malaysia by local researchers and activists. We would like to work out a self-finance model for research and publication of social movement and media activism experience in Asia, in particular among Chinese speaking communities. Please support us by buying a copy.
You may also download a sample preview copy here [pdf].
Below is an introduction written by Jack Qui, a scholar on New media and politics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong:
Editor note: This is an excerpt translation of an investigative report in CBN Weekly on the monitoring of online service providers through the Guarantee system. The article tells the story behind the suspension of DNS of Wangju (http://www.ju690.cn) and Shiguang ( http://www.mtime.com) websites as a result of their failure in complying to the requirement of web-censors. The article was removed from CBN Weekly's website soon after it was published. You can find the full the Chinese version here.
(Editor note: This article is a part of an investigative report originally published in Changcheng Monthly （長城月報）in Chinese. The report, written by ChangLei （張蕾）traces the history of government and party hired online commentators, the so-called 50 Cent Party.)
Since October 2004, Communication Office of Changsha Municipal Party Committee has been insistent in delivering a daily opinion digest, Changsha Yuqing Kuaibao (《長沙輿情快報》) to major officials of Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government. For this, the office have recruited members from units such as the Municipal Party Committee Office and Training School of Changsha Municipal Committee of CPC to form a team of net commentators. These astroturfing commentators are hired with a basic monthly salary of RMB 600, with commissions depending on number of posts they posted. Each of their posts would be logged on a “net commentators management system” and counts for 50 cents.