The Hong Kong government will gain powers to restrict local access to the world’s biggest technology platforms under legislation to punish “doxing” offences expected to be passed this year.
The measures are the latest government effort to assert greater control over civic freedoms in the territory following pro-democracy protests in 2019, when critics and supporters of the government alike engaged in doxing by publishing the personal information of police officers, lawmakers, journalists and protesters online.
But the anti-doxing bill, which will amend Hong Kong’s privacy laws, has been criticised as being too broad, leaving internet service providers and citizens vulnerable to arbitrary accusations and unfair prosecution. Critics said it could also be used to limit freedom of expression.
The amendment, introduced into the city’s pro-government legislature on Monday, came days after the Biden administration issued a stark warning about the risks to US businesses operating in the Chinese territory and a year after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law.
Authorities have introduced other restrictions on information in recent months, such as limiting access to data on the companies registry and censoring films deemed to threaten national security.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, which was frequently critical of the government, recently closed under political pressure. Police on Wednesday arrested more senior editorial…