Tech giants decide to ‘PAUSE’ sharing of user information to Hong Kong authorities

Tech giants around the world have decided to “pause” cooperating  with requests for user information from the Hong Kong police.

America’s Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google and Britain’s Telegram decided to stop sharing user information to Hong Kong police and government after the imposition of the controversial National Security Law.

Several nations have criticised China for imposing the law which threatens the territory’s long-standing autonomy.

Companies said this would be in place until an assessment of the new national security law was done under the consultation of human rights experts

Meanwhile, this decision puts pressure on Apple and Microsoft to follow the same.

Apple complied with the most requests between January and June, before the new law came into effect, according to the firm’s updated transparency report.

Microsoft who also has significant presence in mainland China handed over data about users to Hong Kong authorities. It’s not yet known if the company would comply after the new law.

National Security Law:

The law came into force on 30th June, night 11pm with four categories of offences – secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.

The punishment varies between a life to a three year imprisonment.

‘Anti-nationals’ can be extradited to mainland China from Hong Kong. The law also subverts the Hong Kong judiciary as only Beijing appointed judges can hear such matters.

The law is applicable to entire China including Hong Kong. Even foreign nationals could face action under this law if they are found to be anti-Beijing.