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New Hong Kong national security law allows warrantless searches and covert surveillance of online activity

The Hong Kong police are implementing a number of controversial powers as part of the new national security law—including searches of private property without a warrant.

Collin Jones The Post Millennial
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The Hong Kong police are implementing a number of controversial powers as part of the new national security law—including searches of private property without a warrant.

The police will be able to "restrict individual movements, free assets, intercept communications, and require that internet service providers to remove information," according to Hong Kong Free Press.

The latest legal document pertaining to the national security law allows the police to search a piece of property without a warrant under what is referred to as "urgent" circumstances. The authorities can also confiscate an individual's travel documents, barring them from being able to leave the country.

The police commissioner will also be given the authority to control and monitor the dissemination of online information that may lead to national security crimes. Some individuals may even be barred from accessing online platforms at any given time.

Should the platform refuse to cooperate, the police can apply for a warrant and gather a given electronic device and remove any information of interest from it.

In addition, service providers who fail to comply with the request of authorities could face down a fine of HK$100,000 and up to 6 months in jail.

With the permission of the security chief, the head of the police may ask both international political organizations and Taiwan to surrender information such as personal data, data on activities in Hong Kong, and information related to finances.  

Those who do not cooperate with the authorities on this could, again, face down HK$100,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail.

More covert surveillance will also be permitted, as long as it comes with the approval of the chief executive. This includes intercepting communications.

The Hong Kong authorities have apprehended 10 people so far in connection with violations of the new national security protocols. The arrests were made when thousands of Hong Kongers ignored a police ban to march in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai. It was during this time that Hong Kong celebrated 23 years since its handover to China.

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