Madeline Sponsler, FISM News
Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it would no longer provide data when it was requested from Hong Kong authorities. This move follows the enforcement of China’s new national security law in Hong Kong.
This now means Google will effectively treat Hong Kong the same as mainland China in such dealings.
The national security law has drawn criticism from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump and further raised U.S.-China tensions after Washington’s decision to end the former British colony’s special status under U.S. law.
Google notified Hong Kong police on Thursday that it would direct officials to pursue any requests for data through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States, which involves routing through the U.S. Justice Department, the Washington Post reported.
In July, Facebook, Google and Twitter made similar moves; suspending government requests for user data in Hong Kong.
For a long time, Tech companies have operated freely in Hong Kong, a financial hub where internet access has been unaffected by the firewall imposed in mainland China, which blocks Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
Google said in an emailed statement, “As always, authorities outside the U.S. may seek data needed for criminal investigations through diplomatic procedures”.
Sourced from FISM News, Reuters