China’s imposition of a new National Security Law on Hong Kong has taken the special powers held by the island for a long time and had remain restricted from China’s “Great Firewall” that censors the internet in China. According to legal experts, the new law authorizes the forces to order individuals and companies to remove any content.
Each and every company comes under the new law including US companies operating in Hong Kong but Facebook has reportedly announced that the company will pause any processing of requests for user data from Hong Kong police while it reviews the new regulation. The company notes WhatsApp as the first service not to process any user data requests from the government but it is expected that all Facebook services might hold off on reviewing data requests.
A WhatsApp spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the company was looking at the impact of the new law specifically focusing on “formal human rights due diligence and consultations with human rights experts.”
Some other legal experts consider that the new law doesn’t let Hong Kong fully block services or websites like the “Great Firewall” of China does but if the social media giant denies complying with the new law that could certainly put the company at edges with the Chinese government.
Hong Kong has been an open and free internet state from a long time and also been a free land for some investigative agencies to spy on China but the new law scrap that power from Hong Kong and it would be worth noting if any other companies follow the Facebook’s refusal to comply with the new law.