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Google slows handling of Hong Kong police requests as Beijing tightens control – Fox Business


Google has stopped directly producing new data in response to requests from Hong Kong authorities as Beijing begins implementing its new national security law in the city, a move that tightens mainland control.

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The law was passed in late May and enacted in June as Beijing attempts to crack down on pro-democracy protests that took place for nearly a year in the autonomous region as residents fought to maintain their “one country, two systems” framework.

WHAT IS HONG KONG’S RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA?

“Since the new national security law was enacted in June, we have not produced data in response to new requests from Hong Kong authorities and that remains the case,” a Google spokesperson told FOX Business.

Police officers block the road with water-filled barriers during an opening ceremony for China’s new Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The spokesperson added that authorities outside the U.S. “may seek data needed for criminal investigations through diplomatic procedures” in accordance with U.S. law, as The Washington Post first reported Friday.

MEDIA TYCOON REACTS TO HONG KONG ARREST, SAYS CHINA WAS SENDING MESSAGE OF INTIMIDATION 

Google said its staffers carefully review “all requests for user data and push back on overly broad ones to protect our users’ privacy.”

Hong Kong authorities will have to use a new system to obtain information from Google through the U.S. Justice Department’s Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, according to the Post.

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Facebook and Twitter have similar guidelines for official information requests that come from outside the U.S.

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All three tech giants, which are banned in China, announced that they would at least temporarily stop fulfilling Hong Kong information requests in June.

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