Hong Kong’s independent English-language media Hong Kong Free Press reported on Tuesday (8), citing Facebook’s official “transparency report,” that Facebook has rejected a total of 202 Hong Kong government user data requests since July to December 2020, when the national security law came into effect. The report said that Facebook had rejected a total of 202 requests for user data from the Hong Kong government since July to December 2020, when the national security law took effect. In an interview with Hong Kong Free Press, a police spokesman was asked whether Facebook’s uncooperative attitude would violate the national security law, but reiterated that “the police will request relevant information from relevant persons and organizations to facilitate the investigation if necessary”.
The “Transparency Report” also pointed out that Facebook has removed posts suspected of violating Hong Kong law 13 times since the national security law came into effect. In contrast, Facebook deleted user posts 199 times in the first half of 2020, in sharp contrast to the second half of the year. According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the transparency report does not specify the number of deletion requests by the police.
When the national security law first came into effect, Facebook issued a statement making it clear that “we believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions” and decided to “suspend processing of user data requests from the Hong Kong government “.
Our reporter checked with the Hong Kong police and got the same reply as Hong Kong Free Press. Facebook reiterated its statement issued in July 2020, stating that “Facebook has international procedures for government requests that take into account Facebook policies, relevant laws and international human rights norms.