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Friday, October 25, 2019, 18:02
High Court bans doxxing of HK police
By China Daily
Friday, October 25, 2019, 18:02 By China Daily

Hong Kong’s High Court granted an interim injunction on Friday prohibiting the disclosure of personal information on police officers and their family members.

The two-week injunction, effective until Nov 8, was requested by Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah and Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung following the massive doxxing of police officers during the four-month-old anti-government protests.

Many of them have also reported receiving harassing phone calls, while some off-duty officers have also been attacked by protesters

More than 2,577 police officers have had their personal information and those of their relatives or friends leaked online since June, when the protests erupted, the police told China Daily.

Many of them have also reported receiving harassing phone calls, while some off-duty officers have also been attacked by protesters. In some of the most serious cases, the personal information was used to commit identity theft, according to the police. 

The harassment and intimidation have not only obstructed police operations, but also caused distress to the families of officers, said Herbert Li Kam-yiu, a deputy civil law officer with the Department of Justice.

The court ruling forbids anyone from using, publishing, distributing or disclosing information about police officers and their family members, including spouses and children.

Information covered by the ban includes names, job titles, residential, office, school and email addresses, dates of birth, telephone and identity card numbers, social media account IDs, license-plate numbers and photographs.

The court also bars anyone from intimidating, molesting, harassing, threatening, pestering or interfering with police officers and their family members.

Barrister and legislator Priscilla Leung Mei-fun welcomed the ruling, saying police officers and their families have suffered more than verbal harassment — their personal safety, and especially that of their children, has been threatened and has to be protected under the law.

However, Leung said the ban would not solve the doxxing problem. What it prohibits is already illegal, and radical protesters are likely to continue flouting the law. 

Nevertheless, the injunction provides a “clearer” legal basis for police enforcement, so it’s still necessary, she said.

The High Court also extended an injunction, granted on Oct 14,  banning people from obstructing, damaging or defacing disciplined-services quarters and police married quarters.

Radical protesters had repeatedly targeted police quarters and had hurled fireworks and other objects into the buildings, smashed the windows of lower-floor units and damaged the car-park gates and other government property.

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