In response to China’s enactment of Hong Kong’s National Security Law on June 30 (last Tuesday), multiple Big Tech firms have suspended their mechanisms to process data requests from law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong. Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Twitter and Telegram have paused their data request mechanisms while TikTok has announced that it will cease its operations in the territory. We have also reached out to Apple to know their stance on the situation. The National Security Law defines offences very broadly and allows the police to take down internet posts and punish internet companies that do not comply with data requests. For not complying with the law, companies could be fined almost $13,000 and authorities could jail employees of the internet companies for six months. If an employee refuses to remove content as ordered, they could be jailed for a year. The police can also order deletion of posts that threaten national security. Since the new law applies across the world, companies would also have to give data of users in countries outside Hong Kong. Since the law was enacted, Hong Kongers have reportedly been scrubbing their social media profiles. Many activists fear that this law will chill speech and diminish Hong Kongers' right to protest. Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Twitter hit pause Facebook and WhatsApp have also paused their review of government requests for user data from Hong Kong until the National Security Law is further assessed. A Facebook spokesperson sent us the following statement which is also applicable…
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