Apple 'Assessing' Hong Kong National Security Law as Other Tech Companies Pause Data Requests

Apple is assessing a new Hong Kong security law that makes "subversion" of the government illegal and raises concerns about the criminalization of protests, reports Bloomberg.

AppleLogoHK
China last week implemented legislation allowing local authorities to supervise and regulate internet access in Hong Kong. The new measures criminalize acts that were previously considered protected speech under Hong Kong law, such as the ongoing protests.

In a statement, Apple said that it already requires content requests from local law enforcement authorities to be submitted through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the U.S. and Hong Kong. Apple also says that it has not received requests for Hong Kong user data since the law went into effect last week, though it is under assessment.

"Apple has always required that all content requests from local law enforcement authorities be submitted through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in place between the United States and Hong Kong," the company said. Under that process, "the U.S. Department of Justice reviews Hong Kong authorities' requests for legal conformance."

Earlier today, tech companies that include WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter said they would pause the processing of requests for user data from Hong Kong law enforcement agencies due to the implementation of the new security law.

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Top Rated Comments

simonmet Avatar
50 months ago
It is my opinion that Western corporations and companies have built China into the economic powerhouse that it is today, or at least accelerated it rapidly. They did so in order to exploit their massive poor workforce and poor environmental standards to boost their profits.

China is a state that is extremely hostile to Western values and is actively engaging in cyber warfare against us, but the capitalists don’t care so long as their profits keep rolling in. Granted, the US and Russia has or is doing similarly, but China is prepared to treat its people worse than they treat animals, which is to say: extremely poorly.

Tim Cook and Apple simply can’t claim any moral high ground regarding their social equality, BLM or sexuality positions in the US and other western countries when they support a regime which denies basic human rights, transparency, the ability to question authority; and engages in genocide to name a few.

If Apple has the courage to remove a headphone jack and move to ARM, they should have the courage to get out of China.
Score: 63 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
50 months ago
We’re probably going to get a vague statement from Tim on “Apple’s core values”. He might even throw in a “we’re deeply concerned”.

He’s not going to risk losing business in Hong Kong though.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDaddyPanda Avatar
50 months ago
US businesses need to leave.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gleepskip Avatar
50 months ago

We hate our own protestors yet American politicians call HK unrests as a "beautiful picture".
The protesters in the US aren't hated. The rioters and terrorists are hated. Rioters and terrorists have taken over the marches and diluted the voices of the protesters. We are allowed to protest in the US, unlike what is happening in HK.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gleepskip Avatar
50 months ago

it’s sad that you’ll happily make a distinction in one case but call everyone “protestors” in the others.

People are allowed to protest peacefully in HK. Or they were, until rioters and foreign-sponsored terrorists took the lead.
PRC Keyboard Warriors spreadin' dat proppygandy.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gleepskip Avatar
50 months ago

AKA the courage to implode their business. Get real.
Calm down. @simonmet didn't insist Apple leave China tomorrow. However, they should show more momentum than a singular plant in the US making the most rare product in their lineup.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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