fredag 14. juni 2019

Hong Kong's digital battle: tech that helped protesters now used against them

In early June, Ivan Ip, 22, joined a public chat group on Telegram called “Parade 69”, named for a mass demonstration planned in central Hong Kong to protest a bill allowing for the transfer of suspects from the city to China. According to Ip, an administrator of the group of more than 30,000 people, they discussed things like bringing sunscreen, water, and umbrellas to block the sun or rain.

Two days after the protest, which saw as many as one million Hong Kong residents march against the proposed extradition law, authorities arrived at Ip’s apartment in the evening. Banging on the door, they yelled: “Police! Open up the door!”

For the next eight hours, the police, with a warrant for Ip’s arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, raided his room and questioned him at home and at the police station. After forcing him to unlock his phone and downloading chats from the group, they interrogated him about the group’s creator, the purpose of the forum, and whether Ip knew of other groups for planning “radical actions”.