The sweeping new national security law that China imposed on Hong Kong at the end of June is aimed at stamping out opposition to the ruling Communist Party in the former British colony.
“The law is devastating in that it appears to have no bounds,” Sophie Richardson, the China director at Human Rights Watch, told The New York Times. “Hong Kong activists, accustomed to operating in mostly rights-respecting environment, now face a frightening void.”
Apple Inc. said it is “assessing” a new Hong Kong security law that has sparked concern about criminalizing protests.
“Apple has always required that all content requests from local law enforcement authorities be submitted through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in place between the United States and Hong Kong,” the company said. Under that process, “the U.S. Department of Justice reviews Hong Kong authorities’ requests for legal conformance.”
On Monday, other tech companies, including Google, Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. said they would pause processing user data requests from the Hong Kong government as they review the new law.
MacDailyNews Note: According to Apple’s latest Privacy Transparency Report for Hong Kong (January – June 2019), the company received 358 requests for user device information, 155 requests related to fraudulent transactions, and two requests for account data.