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  1. Hong Kong downloads of Signal surge as residents fear crackdown A new security law is expected to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms. Enlarge d3sign / Getty 61 with 41 posters participating The secure chat app Signal has become the most downloaded app in Hong Kong on both Apple's and Google's app stores, Bloomberg reports, citing data from App Annie. The surging interest in encrypted messaging comes days after the Chinese government in Beijing passed a new national security law that reduced Hong Kong's autonomy and could undermine its traditionally strong protections for civil liberties. The 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China came with a promise that China would respect Hong Kong's autonomy for 50 years following the handover. Under the terms of that deal, Hong Kong residents should have continued to enjoy greater freedom than people on the mainland until 2047. But recently, the mainland government has appeared to renege on that deal. Civil liberties advocates see the national security law approved last week as a major blow to freedom in Hong Kong. The New York Times reports that "the four major offenses in the law—separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign countries—are ambiguously worded and give the authorities extensive power to target activists who criticize the party, activists say." Until now, Hong Kongers faced trial in the city's separate, independent judiciary. The new law opens the door for dissidents to be tried in mainland courts with less respect for civil liberties or due process. This has driven heightened interest among Hong Kongers in secure communication technologies. Signal offers end-to-end encryption and is viewed by security experts as the gold standard for secure mobile messaging. It has been endorsed by NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden. One of Signal's selling points is that it minimizes data collection on its users. When rival Telegram announced it would no longer honor data requests from Hong Kong courts, Signal responded that it didn't have any user data to hand over in the first place. Bloomberg has also reported on the surging adoption of VPN software in Hong Kong as residents fear government surveillance of their Web browsing. Hong Kong downloads of Signal surge as residents fear crackdown
  2. TikTok pulls out of Hong Kong due to new security law Pompeo says US ‘certainly looking at’ banning TikTok Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge TikTok says it will stop offering its social video app in Hong Kong after the region adopted a new national security law granting expanded powers to the mainland Chinese government. “In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,” a spokesperson tells Axios. Global tech companies operating in Hong Kong have expressed concern that the new law could force them to comply with China’s draconian censorship standards and possibly send user data to the mainland. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have already stopped processing requests for user data from the Hong Kong government. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a major Chinese internet company. But it has been at pains to differentiate the Western app from its parent and Douyin, the Chinese version of the platform. While TikTok has long argued that it never shares data with the Chinese government, the new Hong Kong law would likely have undermined the company’s case if it continued to operate in the region. TikTok continues to face scrutiny in the US and beyond. Tonight, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox that the government is “certainly looking at” banning TikTok and various other Chinese social media apps. TikTok was also banned in India last week alongside dozens of other Chinese apps amid increased tensions between the countries. TikTok pulls out of Hong Kong due to new security law
  3. Google, Facebook, and Twitter halt government data requests after new Hong Kong security law The companies are reviewing a new security law that gives China power to stifle dissent Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google, Facebook, and Twitter are pausing the processing of data requests from the Hong Kong government as they review a new security law that went into effect on July 1st. Google put its pause into place as soon as the law took effect last Wednesday. “[W]hen the law took effect, we paused production on any new data requests from Hong Kong authorities,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge in an email, “and we’ll continue to review the details of the new law,” the spokesperson said. Twitter also halted its handling of government requests as of July 1st, with Facebook announcing its pause on Monday, The New York Times reported. Social media platforms typically produce private user information in response to valid court orders, depending on the legal process in various countries. But under this new position, all the companies will, at least temporarily, ignore the requests coming from the government of Hong Kong. The new policies are in response to China’s new national security law in Hong Kong, which was first proposed in May. Hong Kong has traditionally enjoyed significant independence from mainland China, but the central Chinese government has tightened restrictions on speech in Hong Kong in recent months, bringing a gradual end to the “one country, two systems” principle. China’s push toward more control has led to widespread protests across Hong Kong, which began last year. In particular, the new security law gives China the power to limit political dissent against the Communist Party, making it unlawful to engage in “secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security.” Those powers are particularly relevant for social platforms, which may be hosting the now-criminalized subversive activities. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have both been banned in China for several years, part of the so-called “Great Firewall,” under which government censors and monitors track online activity. The new security law has already compelled several political opposition parties in Hong Kong to disband, NPR reported, and is expected to further chill political dissent against Beijing in Hong Kong. “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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to The Verge. Twitter says it is reviewing the new law to assess the implications, adding many terms of the new law are “vague and without clear definition,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to The Verge. “Like many public interest organizations, civil society leaders and entities, and industry peers, we have grave concerns regarding both the developing process and the full intention of this law.” Facebook has a process for reviewing government requests, which takes into account its own policies and local laws as well as international human rights standards, the spokesperson added. “We are pausing the review of government requests for user data from Hong Kong pending further assessment of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with international human rights experts.” Facebook has offices in China and uses Chinese suppliers to manufacture some of its hardware, including its Oculus VR headsets and its Portal video chat devices. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has attempted to mend relations with China in the past, meeting with Communist Party leaders while in Beijing for an economic forum in 2016. More recently, he’s pushed concerns about China setting the terms for online engagement. “If another nation’s platform sets the rules,” Zuckerberg said last year, “our nation’s discourse could be defined by a completely different set of values.” Google, Facebook, and Twitter halt government data requests after new Hong Kong security law
  4. HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Hong Kong riot cop who was filmed chanting “black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” on patrol during a demonstration on Friday has been reprimanded by authorities, according to media reports. The police officer was recorded saying 'Black lives matters' in English and 'I can't breathe' three times each and 'this is not America.' (Twitter) A clip of the officer who was in Yau Ma Tei, in Hong Kong’s Kowloon neighbourhood, was posted online, including the government funded public broadcaster RTHK’s website, in which he was seen making the comments in reference to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25 while in police custody, which sparked protests across the United States. The man was recorded saying “black lives matters” in English and “I can’t breathe” three times each and “this is not America” in the 20-second clip that was published on the RTHK website on the weekend. Police were carrying out identity card checks of the crowd, according to media, at the time the officer made the comments. A Hong Kong police spokeswoman told the South China Morning Post the officer had been reprimanded over the incident. “The officer has been rebuked and reminded to always present himself professionally and enhance his sensitivity,” the spokeswoman told the newspaper. “Disciplinary action may ensue depending on the investigation result.” A crowd had gathered in Yau Ma Tei on Friday night as part of protests across the city to mark the first anniversary of tear gas being fired during an anti government demonstration against the then proposed extradition bill. The bill, which would have allowed Hong Kong citizens to be sent to mainland China for trial, has been shelved but tensions in the city remain high as Beijing moves to impose a national security law on Hong Kong. A police statement said 43 people were arrested on Friday night. Source
  5. https://lihkg.com/thread/1655646/page/1 Since June 2019, people in Hong Kong rallied in massive numbers in opposition to the proposed extradition bill. Protests were met with intense crackdown, accompanied by widespread reports of police abuse and misconducts. Calls for an independent inquiry into the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) were repeatedly ignored or denied by the Carrie Lam government. In response to this, in July 2019, a group of citizens launched an effort to assemble publicly available information and conduct an independent investigation into the HKPF's actions. The investigation report consists of 7 chapters, with chapters 3 to 6 making up the core of the report. Chapter 3 outlines the legal authority of the HKPF, explaining the expected behavior of the police when performing their duties. Chapter 4 describes the current complaint mechanism of the HKPF, and attempts to analyze its deficiencies and possible grey areas. Chapter 5 provides a compilation of evidence of suspected abuse of power of the HKPF since June 2019. Chapter 6 concludes the report with our recommendations. LINK: https://www.hkpfreport.org/
  6. Blizzard breaks its silence on controversial suspension of pro Hong Kong Hearthstone player It claims the ban has nothing to do with China Video game developer Blizzard Entertainment has finally broken its silence after banning a professional player of popular virtual card game Hearthstone for voicing support for the Hong Kong protests. In a lengthy statement, the company says it will reduce the one-year suspension of player Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung to a six-month one, and it will restore the prize money it withheld from him. Blizzard claims that its initial decision was not influenced by its relationship with China. “The specific views expressed by blitzchung were not a factor in the decision we made. I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision,” writes J. Allen Brack, the president of Blizzard Entertainment. “We have these rules to keep the focus on the game and on the tournament to the benefit of a global audience, and that was the only consideration in the actions we took. If this had been the opposing viewpoint delivered in the same divisive and deliberate way, we would have felt and acted the same,” he continues. Yet Brack also says that, after evaluating the situation and listening to the community, “six months for blitzchung is more appropriate, after which time he can compete in the Hearthstone pro circuit again if he so chooses.” He goes on to say, “There is a consequence for taking the conversation away from the purpose of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast.” Brack says the two “shoutcasters” who interviewed Wai Chung will have reduced punishments as well, but Blizzard is still holding them accountable for his outburst: “With regard to the casters, remember their purpose is to keep the event focused on the tournament. That didn’t happen here, and we are setting their suspension to six months as well.” Brack says Blizzard will continue to enforce these rules in the future “to ensure our official broadcasts remain focused on the game and are not a platform for divisive social or political views.” To put it mildly, that’s not the reaction that protesters had hoped for. Riot Games, the developer of popular e-sport title League of Legends and a subsidiary of Chinese gaming giant Tencent, echoed a similar sentiment earlier today when it weighed in on the controversy. Riot says broadcasters should “refrain” from commenting on or discussing “sensitive topics” on air during League of Legends e-sports events. “As a general rule, we want to keep our broadcasts focused on the game, the sport, and the players,” John Needham, the global head of League of Legends, e-sports said in a statement. “We serve fans from many different countries and cultures, and we believe this opportunity comes with a responsibility to keep personal views on sensitives issues (political, religious, or otherwise) separate.” But Fortnite creator Epic Games, in which Tencent has also invested, says it will not punish players for political speech. In the wake of the initial ban, Blizzard has faced immense pressure from players, politicians, and activists who criticized the developer for what’s seen as its capitulation to the Chinese government. In his post-game interview, Wai Chung said, “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!” Blizzard operates numerous e-sports events and operates a variety of live multiplayer games in the country. Therefore, Blizzard’s ban could be construed as an appeasement to the Chinese government, which is engaged in a lengthy months-long crackdown of the Hong Kong protests and has typically applied pressure on foreign businesses that do not abide by the company’s political positions and stance on free speech. The company claimed at the time that Wai Chung simply violated its tournament rules. “While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules,” Blizzard said in its statement. The rule in question forbids players from doing anything that “brings [them] into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages [Blizzard’s] image.” Despite Blizzard’s best efforts to claim otherwise, the ban did not paint it a positive light with regard to respect for free speech and political expression. It also occurred amidst a controversial standoff between the NBA and China, which took offense to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of the Hong Kong protestors. The NBA eventually stood by Morey, resulting in a deterioration of the league and the Rockets’ relationship with the country — its biggest foreign market and a source of considerable broadcast, investor, and sponsorship support. Blizzard, which had not spoken out about its move to appease the Chinese government beyond its initial statement, has instead faced a domestic backlash. Employees have staged multiple walk outs, players have been boycotting the company and popular Blizzard games like Overwatch, and lawmakers have condemned its actions as antithetical to American values and in support of an authoritarian regime’s stifling of free expression. It’s not clear Blizzard’s new statement or its reduction of the suspension are going to win over many critics. Brack is clearly trying toe a very narrow line when he writes, “One of our goals at Blizzard is to make sure that every player, everywhere in the world, regardless of political views, religious beliefs, race, gender, or any other consideration always feels safe and welcome both competing in and playing our games.” It’s also interesting to see Brack defend Blizzard’s values, including “Every Voice Matters,” when that ideal clearly flies in the face of the Chinese government’s position on political expression and criticism. “Every Voice Matters, and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves,” Brack writes. “However, the official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome. In support of that, we want to keep the official channels focused on the game.” In this case, the voice that seems to matter most is China’s, even if it doesn’t have to formally speak up to get Blizzard to act accordingly. Source: Blizzard breaks its silence on controversial suspension of pro Hong Kong Hearthstone player (The Verge)
  7. Trying to avoid cops, live rounds, tear gas? Oh no, you don't, say Cook & Co Apple has banned an app that allows people in Hong Kong to keep track of protests and police activity in the city state, claiming such information is illegal. “Your app contains content - or facilitates, enables, and encourages an activity - that is not legal ... specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement," the American tech giant told makers of the HKmap Live on Tuesday before pulling it. The makers, and many others, have taken exception to that argument, by pointing out that the app only allows people to note locations - as many countless thousands of other apps do - and so under the same logic, apps such as driving app Waze should also be banned. That argument is obtuse of course given that the sole purpose of HKmap Live is to track police activity on the streets of Hong Kong and not to help people navigate to other locations. For example, at the time of writing – 0300 Hong Kong time – there are only a few messages live but they are clearly intended to provide ongoing intelligence on police movements. “After the tear gas was applied, the police officer immediately returned to the police station,” reads one. “Four flashing lights parked at the police station door,” says another. Another simply reads: “Riot.” It is extremely easy to see at a glance where police activity is concentrated given the combination of messages and precise GPS locations. But local Hong Kong citizens have highlighted a quirk of local laws that provide a strong counter-argument: under the law, the Hong Kong police are obliged to wave a blue flag at the spot in which they wish to declare that an illegal gathering is taking place. Legal review? The intent is to give citizens sufficient notice and time to move away from the area before any police action is taken. The HKmap Live app simply takes that official approach and extends it to citizens, allowing them to notify others of action that will be taken in specific locations. It is far from clear whether Apple has undertaken that kind of legal review, or whether it is choosing to follow local law or US law in declaring the app illegal. Apple has also, so far, refused to say whether it took the decision to ban the app in response to a request from the Chinese authorities, but in the past has show a remarkable willingness to kowtow to Middle Kingdom mandarins. Regardless, the ban has left a bad taste in the mouths of many, given the background to events in Hong Kong, especially the recent shooting of a protester at point-blank range with live ammunition by a police officer. Apple has made defense of citizens’ rights a key differentiator in its technology and painted itself as a business that will stand up to unreasonable requests by the authorities who wish to use its technology to bypass current laws - in the US at least. That Cupertino chose to ban the app without discussing the issue with the app’s developers and has given a very limited, and quite possibly incorrect, explanation as to why, has infuriated many. In a follow-up to its announcement that Apple has banned its app, the makers said they were optimistic that the issue could still be resolved in their favor. “To make it clear, I still believe this is more a bureaucratic f up than censorship,” said one on Twitter. “Everything can be used for illegal purpose on the wrong hand. Our App is for info, and we do not encourage illegal activity.” Given escalating tensions in Hong Kong and growing levels of violence, particularly this week’s use of live ammunition by the police, there is an additional reason to question Apple’s decision: many Hong Kong citizens claim they had started using the app in order to carry out their legal right to protest while at the same time avoiding dangerous hotspots of violence. Assumptions “Apple assume our users are lawbreakers and therefore evading law enforcement, which is clearly not the case,” the makers complained. The situation itself in Hong Kong is growing increasingly worrying. Protests are now in their fifth month, with neither side seemingly willing to back down. The Chinese government is determined to clamp down on the unrest in its semi-autonomous province but so far has been careful not to intervene militarily, out of fear it could result in the world turning its back on the country, as it did following the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. The protesters in the meantime are furious at China’s growing influence over the province. The protests began when the Hong Kong legislature proposed a new bill that would make it easier to extradite people to China from the city. But they then exploded when the legislature refused to withdraw the bill and instead used harsh police tactics in an effort to stamp out the protests; a tactic that backfired drastically. In that sense, some Hong Kongers feel they are fighting for their very right to exist autonomously from the Chinese mainland; while China is increasingly unhappy at what it sees as a questioning of its authority. The lengthy and often violent stand-off has encompassed all facets of life in the famous city, from a storming of its international airport to business leaders being pressured to lend their support to Beijing. Demands The protesters have five broad demands that must be met before they say they will step down: the withdrawal of the extradition bill, which has happened; legislature leader Carrie Lam to step down, which Beijing is very resistant to; an inquiry into police brutality; those who have been arrested to be released; and – perhaps the hardest hurdle – greater democratic freedoms. It is unclear whether China will ultimately find a way to accept those demands and defuse the tension or whether it will decide to try to impose its will forcibly. In the meantime, protests continues and there are daily clashes between protesters and police. While Apple, for obvious reasons, will not want to take any part in all this, its decision to ban an app that could make the lives of Hong Kong citizens safer and perhaps even support the authorities by calling it illegal does put the company in a position of taking sides. If there is any good news, it’s that the HKmap Live service is also available on the Web so it isn’t reliant on a iPhone app and Apple users in Hong Kong will still be able to access the service for as long as it stays live. Source
  8. Hong Kong protestors have managed to keep their largely leaderless movement going for the past three months partly through their savvy use of technologies, including messaging apps like Telegram and social media platforms such as Twitter. This has apparently also drawn the attention of those who don’t quite agree with the demonstrators. LIHKG, the de facto online headquarters for protestors, who use the website to exchange tips and comments about the movement, said it came under an “unprecedented” distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attack on Aug. 31, with the episode leading to denied access to the website for some of its users. DDoS is a form of cyber attack that floods a targeted machine or server with so many requests the system gets overloaded and can’t fulfill some or all legitimate requests from actual users. “We have reasons to believe that there is a power, or even a national level power behind to organize such attacks as botnet from all over the world were manipulated in launching this attack,” the website, which is run by anonymous operators, announced in a post on Sunday (Sept. 1). While the forum did not identify which country was the “national-level power,” it said part of the attacks “were from websites in China.” According to some of its users, when internet users visit these websites, they “will automatically and constantly send request to LIHKG at the background” to launch the attack, the forum said. The forum identified two Chinese websites as being among those involved in the attack, including Baidu Tieba, an online forum under Baidu, the largest search engine in China, and qihucdn.com, which some LIHKG users believe belongs to Qihoo360, a Chinese internet security firm. Baidu declined to comment, while Qihoo360 did not reply to a request for a comment. K, a cybersecurity expert from Information Security on Ground, a local Facebook page aimed at enhancing people’s awareness of online privacy, said his diagnosis shows the attacks were unlikely initiated by Baidu and the other Chinese websites themselves. Rather, he suspects the attacks happened because the websites were perhaps “compromised” through some malicious Javascript inserted in their content delivery network (CDN), a system of distributed servers that deliver pages and other web content to users. According to K, the “compromised” scripts could effectively lead to the computers of anyone that visits the affected Chinese websites to launch the DDoS attack on LIHKG. It is unclear whether Baidu or Qihoo is aware of the issue, or which organization might have inserted malicious scripts into the servers, he added. This is not the first time China has been suspected of involvement in large-scale DDoS attacks, once again indicating the gap between the country’s ambition to have more of a say on cyberspace and the suspicion the global community has toward it. In June, when the Hong Kong protests against a controversial extradition bill had just started to take off, messaging app Telegram said it was under a DDoS attack. At the time, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said the IP addresses behind the attack were coming mostly from China—and that this isn’t the first time “state actor-sized” attacks had happened during protests in Hong Kong. Source
  9. Twitter and Facebook announced Monday takedowns of Chinese government-linked disinformation campaigns that sought to undermine the protests in Hong Kong. Twitter said in a blog post it has suspended 936 accounts originating in China that were part of a “significant state-backed information operation focused on the situation in Hong Kong,” where protesters have taken to the streets to oppose a bill that would allow local authorities to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China. “Overall, these accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” the company said. The accounts were suspended for violating a number of the social network’s policies, including its rules against spam and fake accounts. The takedown represents a small fraction of the activity discovered by Twitter, however, which said it took down “a larger, spammy network of approximately 200,000 accounts” before they became “substantially active” on the platform. Twitter is banned in China, but the company said some of the accounts were able to circumvent the ban by using virtual private networks, or VPNs. Working off a tip from Twitter, Facebook cybersecurity chief Nathaniel Gleicher said his company suspended five accounts, seven pages and three groups with “links to individuals associated with the Chinese government” that “frequently posted about local political news and issues including topics like the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.” The pages amassed at least 15,000 followers and the groups at least 2,000 members. Source
  10. Hong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong protesters clashed with police on Saturday in a town near the boundary with mainland China where thousands rallied against the presence of Chinese traders, seizing on another grievance following major unrest over an extradition bill. The demonstration in the Hong Kong territorial town of Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen, began peacefully but devolved into skirmishes and shouting. Protesters threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray. Later, Hong Kong police urged protesters to refrain from violence and leave the area. By around 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT), most had retreated as police in riot helmets and wielding large shields swept through the town to reclaim the streets. The protest was the latest in a series that have roiled the former British colony for more than a month, giving rise to its worst political crisis since its 1997 handover to China. Sometimes violent street protests have drawn in millions of people, with hundreds even storming the legislature on July 1 to oppose a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in courts under ruling Communist Party control. Critics see the bill as a threat to Hong Kong’s rule of law. Chief Executive Carrie Lam this week said the bill was “dead” after having suspended it last month, but opponents vow to settle for nothing short of its formal withdrawal. Protests against the bill had largely taken place in Hong Kong’s main business district, but demonstrators have recently begun to look elsewhere to widen support by taking up narrower, more domestic issues. In Sheung Shui, protesters rallied to oppose small-time Chinese traders who make short trips into the territory to buy goods that they then haul back to China to sell. The demonstrators chanted demands in Mandarin, China’s official language, for the Chinese traders to go home. Many street-level shops were shuttered during the march. The traders have long been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fueled inflation, driven up property prices, dodged taxes and diluted Sheung Shui’s identity. Riot police stand guard during a march at Sheung Shui, a border town in Hong Kong, China July 13, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu “Our lovely town has become chaos,” said Ryan Lai, 50, a resident of Sheung Shui, where so-called “parallel traders” buy bulk quantities of duty-free goods to be carried into mainland China and sold. “We don’t want to stop travel and buying, but please, just make it orderly and legal. The extradition bill was the tipping point for us to come out. We want Sheung Shui back.” When Britain returned Hong Kong to China 22 years ago, Chinese Communist leaders promised the city a high degree of autonomy for 50 years. But many say China has progressively tightened its grip, putting Hong Kong’s freedoms under threat through a range of measures such as the extradition bill. DEMOCRACY DEFICIT Hong Kong’s lack of full democracy was behind the recent unrest, said Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights Front, which organized protests against the extradition bill. “The government, Carrie Lam, some legislators in functional constituencies are not elected by the people, so there are many escalating actions in different districts to reflect different social issues,” he said. “If political problems are not solved, social well-being issues will continue to emerge endlessly.” One protester said Saturday’s scuffles started when demonstrators charged the police after the latter came to the assistance of mainland traders who had assaulted demonstrators. “Some people were attacked and got injured in a stampede. I tried to save some girls so I was also attacked by pepper spray by police. Now I feel so bad. The cops are dogs,” said the man, who would only give the name Ragnar. Protesters ripped up median barriers and fences to set up roadblocks and defenses. A young man was treated for a bloody head wound meters from where surrounded police were hitting activists armed with umbrellas. A baton charge by police in riot gear cleared the street minutes later to free trapped officers. “We have no weapons and we were peaceful. When we saw them taking photos of us in the crowd we had to react,” said another protester, surnamed Chan, who declined to give his full name. “We are all scared now. How can they hit us with batons?” he said, staring at a pool of blood where one of his peers was treated. The police public affairs office did not have an immediate comment when asked about police actions against the protesters. Last week nearly 2,000 people marched in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women. On Sunday, tens of thousands marched in one of Kowloon’s most popular tourist shopping areas, trying to persuade mainland Chinese tourists to back opposition to the extradition bill. “We want to raise awareness in Washington that the United States has to do more now to help Hong Kong become fully democratic,” said a resident of the nearby town of Fanling, who was one of five people in Saturday’s crowd carrying U.S. flags. “They are the most important power left that can stand up to China,” added the 30-year-old man, who gave his name only as David. Anti-extradition protesters plan another demonstration on Sunday in the town of Sha Tin, in the so-called New Territories between Hong Kong island and the border with China. Source: Hong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders
  11. Hong Kong protesters march again, reaching out to Chinese visitors HONG KONG (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of protesters marched through one of Hong Kong’s most popular tourist areas on Sunday, trying to gain support from mainland Chinese visitors for the city’s opposition to an extradition bill which has caused political turmoil. Anti-extradition bill protesters march to West Kowloon Express Rail Link Station in Hong Kong, China July 7, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter Protests against the now-suspended bill have drawn millions of people to the streets in the former British colony in recent weeks, posing the biggest challenge Beijing has faced to its rule in the territory since Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997. The protests have received little coverage in mainland China, however, with censors blocking news of the largest demonstrations on Chinese soil since the bloody suppression of pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. The bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, has triggered outrage across broad sections of Hong Kong society amid concerns it threatens the much-cherished rule of law that underpins the city’s international financial status. Hong Kong has been governed under a “one country, two systems” formula since its return to Chinese rule, allowing freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including the right to protest and an independent judiciary. China and Britain have engaged in a public spat over the bill but Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming told BBC TV on Sunday that China was “not interested in diplomatic war with the UK” and he had full confidence in Hong Kong’s ability to resolve the situation without China’s intervention. TARGETING MAINLAND CHINESE Protesters on Sunday braved intermittent rain and marched through streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, a popular shopping destination dotted with luxury shops, to try to deliver their message directly to mainland Chinese tourists in the hope of garnering sympathy. At times they shouted slogans in Mandarin, mainland China’s official tongue, as opposed to Hong Kong’s main language Cantonese. They also handed out flyers and sent messages by social media and Apple’s phone-to-phone AirDrop system written in the simplified form of Chinese characters used on the mainland. The short march finished at the city’s high-speed rail station that connects Hong Kong to the mainland, one of the main entry points for Chinese visitors but a sensitive spot after part of the facility came under Chinese jurisdiction last year. “It is hoped that Hong Kong people can spread how Hong Kong people can march peacefully and bring the protest information back to the mainland to mainland visitors,” Lau Wing-hong, one of the protest organizers, told Reuters. The march was the first major demonstration since Monday when protesters besieged and ransacked the legislative building in the heart of the city on the 22nd anniversary of the handover before being driven back by police firing tear gas. The authorities took no chances. Police and train staff guarded every exit of the station. Hong Kong’s MTR Corp Ltd, which runs the city’s metro, planned to shut all entrances to the West Kowloon station apart from a route for passengers. Food and beverage outlets were also closed. Online train tickets between Hong Kong and Shenzhen on the mainland were displayed as sold out from 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (0630 GMT-1030 GMT), coinciding with the hours of the protest. ‘QUITE TOUCHED’ Shanghai businessman Alan Zhang watched the procession near an Apple store on Canton Road. “Actually, I feel quite touched to see how Hong Kong people fight for their freedom,” said Zhang, 54, a frequent visitor to Hong Kong. “That’s something we can’t do in China. I think first-time travelers do not know what is happening right now... Indeed it let me see why Hong Kong is different from China. I received flyers and AirDrop - very smart act.” Hundreds of police lined the route, temporarily closing some roads and diverting public transport. The organizer said 230,000 people had attended the march, while police put the number at 56,000 at its peak. By 7:30pm (1130 GMT) most had left, but as the evening wore on several hundred regrouped and marched up a busy street toward the densely populated Mong Kok neighborhood, blocking traffic along the way. Lines of police with helmets and plastic shields stopped their advance, and worked to disperse the group by driving them back, mostly peacefully. Live TV footage appeared to show a handful of protesters being detained after being wrestled to the ground. Hong Kong’s Tourism Association said some travel agencies stayed away from Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday. The extradition bill, which has left Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam clinging to her job, would cover Hong Kong residents and foreign and Chinese nationals living or traveling through the city. Protesters want the bill withdrawn altogether. Lawyers and rights groups say China’s justice system is marked by torture, forced confessions and arbitrary detention, claims that Beijing denies. Lam has offered closed-door talks to students from two universities but activists said they want the discussions to be open to the public and called for a halt to investigations of protesters. Police began arresting protesters this week. Source: Hong Kong protesters march again, reaching out to Chinese visitors
  12. This month's #612strike uprising in Hong Kong achieved a provisional victory when the city's Beijing-friendly government shelved its plans to allow Hong Kongers to be extradited to the mainland to stand charges for political "crimes" -- but the protests, which are the largest in the island's history, are not over. In addition to marching for the resignation of the city's top administrator, Carrie Lam, the protesters have repeatedly blockaded the police HQ, for hours at a time, calling for the release of comrades who were arrested in the #612strike marches. They have graffitied the building ("Hong Kong police dog headquarters") and hung banners from it reading "Release the prisoners." Protesters are hoping to draw the attention of world leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka. The organizers of the demonstration from the Civil Human Rights Front have translated their materials into English, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, Indonesian, Korean and Italian. Freedom HK crowdfunded from Hong Kongers to run full-page ads in several international newspapers ahead of the event. During the rally, protesters chanted slogans such as “Withdraw evil extradition law”, “Free Hong Kong” and “We want genuine universal suffrage”, as guest speakers took turns on the stage to address the crowd. The rally was led by the Civil Human Rights Front, the pro-democracy group that organised two mass marches and other events this month against the bill which would allow the transfer of fugitives to mainland China and other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has no extradition arrangement. Siege of Hong Kong police headquarters ends without clashes after 6-hour drama by extradition bill protesters [Sum Lok-kei, Victor Ting, Ng Kang-chung and Kanis Leung/South China Morning Post] Source
  13. "Everyone is in deep fear of having their own identity exposed," one demonstrator said. Thousands of protesters took take part in a rally against an extradition law proposed in Hong Kong. HONG KONG — College student Naida Lam didn't think much about her digital privacy until June 11. It was the night before massive protests in Hong Kong against a law that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China. Like many students, Lam, 20, had been using the encrypted messaging app Telegram, participating in group chats that were used to plan and coordinate ahead of the demonstration. But that night, Hong Kong authorities arrested the administrator of one of the largest of these groups. For Lam it was a wake-up call. "When my friends told me that another group's administrator got arrested, immediately I feared that something will happen in the group I was in," Lam said. "I left the group and changed all my privacy settings." The arrested Telegram administrator, Ivan Ip, 22, managed a chat of more than 30,000 members. While protesters were starting to gather around Hong Kong's government headquarters, police turned up at Ip's house and arrested him for conspiracy to commit public nuisance. It was not clear how the police were able to identify Ip, raising questions about whether officials had infiltrated the group itself. Lam said the arrest put people on alert that they could also be identified. "Everyone is in deep fear of having their own identity exposed on Telegram," Lam said, "and all were trying to help each other to hide our identities." The arrest did not appear to put a dent in the protests. Thousands of people occupied major roads and surrounded the Legislative Council building — the Hong Kong government's headquarters — preventing lawmakers entering for a meeting to discuss the bill. Protesters shine lights from their mobile phones during one of the demonstrations on June 16. A small group of the demonstrators clashed with police, overturning barricades and throwing objects at the officers, who fired pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets. The legislation was eventually postponed indefinitely, and Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's chief executive, was forced to issue a public apology. But the digital crackdown nevertheless left its mark. Internet-savvy young people, who once only saw the upsides of a technology that helped them organize protests, have grown increasingly wary of surveillance. They are worried the extradition law is the latest step in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous capitalist city, being drawn into the murky legal system of mainland China. Beijing has created a sophisticated surveillance state, and has emerged as a world leader in facial recognition technology. It's a concern that extends beyond messaging apps. During the protests, there was the unfamiliar sight of people waiting in line to buy paper tickets at the city's train station. Usually they use a contactless digital card, named Octopus, but many were avoiding this because they feared leaving digital tracks. Meanwhile, others decided to clear their phone's location history, and delete any other data that might give away their whereabouts. Many discouraged their fellow demonstrators from taking photos and videos because they might be posted online. Shouts of "do not post it on social media" were heard throughout the marches. demonstrator outside the Legislative Council building on June 21. Tam, 24, who declined to provide his first name in fear of being prosecuted, was among the thousands who dressed in black and engaged in a sit-down protest outside the Legislative Council on Monday afternoon. "I usually use story mode for Instagram, as it is harder to leave a record," Tam said, referring to the app's feature where posts automatically disappear after 24 hours. "If I leave a record, I'm afraid it could be used against me in the future." As well as their digital efforts, many protesters deployed the more traditional tactic of wearing a mask, something that has become commonplace in Hong Kong in recent years. Protesters that spoke with NBC News said the realities of modern surveillance have changed even in the five years since Hong Kong's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, which flooded the streets for 79 days in 2014. "People are now more aware of their own safety before taking any action. Some would even consult a lawyer's suggestion before acting," said John Jung, a 20-year-old university student. Jung, who runs one of the area's few civilian-led first-aid stations, said he and colleagues still used encrypted messaging apps, but now limit the number of people stored in the contacts list. "The lesser number of people knowing about our internal information the better," he said. "This is to prevent any form of information leakage." Source
  14. Jurisdictions agree to exchange information in data breach investigations. The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data and Singaporean Personal Data Protection Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the pair cooperate on protecting personal data. According to the agreement, the two commissions will exchange information on potential or ongoing data breaches, conduct joint research projects, and share best practices and "experiences". "A strong collaborative effort with our counterparts in Hong Kong and other jurisdictions is needed to advance personal data protection and prepare for a digital economy," Commissioner of the PDPC Tan Kiat How said in a statement. "We look forward to strengthening our working relations to enable all parties to collectively benefit from best practices, research and the sharing of information." Discussions that led to the memo began in September. In the past year, both jurisdictions have seen significant data breaches. For Hong Kong, its flag carrier Cathay Pacific disclosed a data breach that hit 9.4 million people in October. Cathay Pacific said that passenger details including name, nationality, date of birth, phone number, email address, passport number, identity card number, frequent flyer membership number, customer service remarks, and historical travel information could have been accessed. The airline added 860,000 passport numbers and approximately 245,000 Hong Kong identity card numbers were accessed. A small number of credit card numbers, 403 in total, were also accessed, as well as 27 cards with no CVV. The company said it had discovered suspicious activity on its network in March 2018 and took "immediate action", with the breach confirmed in May. "Since that time, analysis of the data has continued in order to identify affected individuals and to determine whether the data at issue could be reconstructed," it said. While for Singapore, the city-state handed out SG$1 million in fines following the SingHealth data breach that impacted over 1.5 million individuals. "SingHealth personnel handling security incidents was unfamiliar with the incident response process, overly dependent on IHIS [Integrated Health Information Systems], and failed to understand and take further steps to understand the significance of the information provided by IHIS after it was surfaced," the Personal Data Protection Commission said in January as the fines were handed down. "Even if organisations delegate work to vendors, organisations as data controllers must ultimately take responsibility for the personal data that they have collected from their customers. "These financial penalties are the highest ever imposed by PDPC, to date." The SingHealth breach was the largest in Singaporean history, and the attack was carried out over a period that spanned more than 10 months from August 2017. Source
  15. A 56-year-old man from Hong Kong has contracted the rat-specific version of hepatitis E, something never observed before in a human patient. Health officials are now scrambling to understand how this could have happened—and the possible implications. A medical team from the University of Hong Kong assessed the unnamed patient, who had recently undergone a liver transplant, the South China Morning Post reports. A human version of hepatitis E exists, which typically spreads through contaminated water. Scientists had previously assumed that the rat version, which is caused by a different virus, is not human-compatible. The man exhibited unusual and recurrent liver dysfunction following the transplant, the BBC reports, with subsequent tests revealing the presence of a “highly divergent” version of the hepatitis E known to afflict humans. The scientists in charge of the investigation, Yuen Kwok-yung and Siddharth Sridhar, both from Hong Kong University, aren’t entirely sure how the man contracted hepatitis E, and the case is still under investigation. It’s highly unlikely that the disease came with the transplanted liver, as there were no signs of the disease in the organ donor, according to SCMP. The man lives in a subsidized housing complex in eastern Kowloon, which is known to harbor a large rat population. The man lives next door to a garbage chute, where the conditions are generally unclean. It’s possible, say Kwok-yung and Sridhar, that his food supply was contaminated by infected rat droppings. “You could find rat droppings there,” said Yuen at a press conference held in Hong Kong earlier today. “The drain outlet in the corridor could also allow easy access for rats.” It’s also possible that the man was bit by a rat and didn’t notice, but that seems unlikely. The SCMP reports that the man is now “completely normal,” following a prescription of ribavirin, an antiviral used for chronic hepatitis E infections. At the press conference today, the researchers described the discovery as a “wake-up call,” saying local authorities need to improve environmental hygiene in Hong Kong communities and do something about the burgeoning rat population. “We don’t know if in future there will be a serious outbreak of the rat hepatitis E virus in Hong Kong,” said Kwok-yung. “We need to closely monitor this issue.” There’s no evidence of an imminent epidemic, the researchers said, but more work is needed to understand how and why the man got infected. There’s concern, for example, that the virus may have undergone a recent mutation, in which it acquired the capacity to infect humans. Another possibility is that the man’s immune system was compromised after the liver transplant, making him more susceptible to infection, the doctors said. The full extent of the rat-specific version of hepatitis E is not fully known, aside from what was observed in the patient. The human-specific version of hepatitis E, which is caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV), is rare in the United States, but it’s quite common in many parts of the world, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Humans tend to be infected by ingesting infected fecal matter, such as drinking contaminated water or through contact with poor sanitation. The CDC describes fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, jaundice, and joint pain among the many symptoms. The health agency says most people recover completely, with mortality rates as low as 1 percent. But it’s a different story for pregnant women, for whom hepatitis E infection has a mortality rate between 10 and 30 percent during the third trimester. Hepatitis E is rarely chronic, and it typically goes away on its own. Patients diagnosed with the disease are advised to eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid alcohol. Pregnant woman are advised to see their doctor, as infections may require a hospital stay. Source
  16. HONG KONG: Hong Kong banned a political party which promotes independence on Monday, a first since the city was handed back to China by Britain 21 years ago as Beijing ups pressure on any challenges to its sovereignty. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland including freedom of expression but the space for political dissent is shrinking in the face of an increasingly assertive China under President Xi Jinping. Police sought a ban in July on the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), a well-known but small group with a core membership of around a dozen, which promotes the city's independence from China. The bid was slammed by rights groups and Britain's foreign office, which said Hong Kong's rights must be respected. On Monday, Hong Kong's security bureau announced it had upheld the police request and would ban the party under the Societies Ordinance, which stipulates groups can be prohibited in the interests of national security and public safety. "I hereby order that the operation or continued operation of the Hong Kong National Party in Hong Kong to be prohibited," a notice from the security minister said on a government website. HKNP leader Andy Chan said he would not immediately comment on the decision. Activists calling for Hong Kong's independence from China emerged after mass pro-democracy rallies in 2014 failed to win reforms. But pro-independence campaigners including Chan have since been blocked from standing for office and others disqualified from the legislature. Leading independence activist Edward Leung was jailed for six years in June on rioting charges after clashes with police in 2016. HKNP has lost momentum over the past two years as the government seeks to muzzle pro-independence sentiment. However, the party was launched back into the headlines after police sought the ban, with Chan giving a high-profile talk at the city's press club which Chinese authorities demanded should be cancelled. Chan described Beijing as Hong Kong's "colonial master" in his speech to a packed audience at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in August. China's ministry of foreign affairs had asked the FCC to pull the talk but it refused, saying that different views should be heard in any debate. The Hong Kong government said that while it backed freedom of speech and the press, allowing Chan to speak contravened the city's mini-constitution. Source
  17. On May 25 and 26, Hong Kong Customs carried out a series of raids against four retail outlets suspected of selling "fully loaded" set-top boxes which provided unauthorized access to movies and TV shows. Seven men and one woman were arrested and charged with copyright infringement offenses. Officials have warned that offenders could be imprisoned for up to four years. As Internet-capable set-top boxes pour into homes across all populated continents, authorities seem almost powerless to come up with a significant response to the growing threat. In standard form these devices, which are often Android-based, are entirely legal. However, when configured with specialist software they become piracy powerhouses providing access to all content imaginable, often at copyright holders’ expense. A large proportion of these devices come from Asia, China in particular, but it’s relatively rare to hear of enforcement action in that part of the world. That changed this week with an announcement from Hong Kong customs detailing a series of raids in the areas of Sham Shui Po and Wan Chai. After conducting an in-depth investigation with the assistance of copyright holders, on May 25 and 26 Customs and Excise officers launched Operation Trojan Horse, carrying out a series of raids on four premises selling suspected piracy-configured set-top boxes. During the operation, officers arrested seven men and one woman aged between 18 and 45. Four of them were shop owners and the other four were salespeople. Around 354 suspected ‘pirate’ boxes were seized with an estimated market value of HK$320,000 (US$40,700). “In the past few months, the department has stepped up inspections of hotspots for TV set-top boxes,” a statement from authorities reads. “We have discovered that some shops have sold suspected illegal set-top boxes that bypass the copyright protection measures imposed by copyright holders of pay television programs allowing people to watch pay television programs for free.” Some of the devices seized by Hong Kong Customs During a press conference yesterday, a representative from the Customs Copyright and Trademark Investigations (Action) Division said that in the run up to the World Cup in 2018, measures against copyright infringement will be strengthened both on and online. The announcement was welcomed by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia’s (CASBAA) Coalition Against Piracy, which is back by industry heavyweights including Disney, Fox, HBO Asia, NBCUniversal, Premier League, Turner Asia-Pacific, A&E Networks, Astro, BBC Worldwide, National Basketball Association, TV5MONDE, Viacom International, and others. “We commend the great work of Hong Kong Customs in clamping down on syndicates who profit from the sale of Illicit Streaming Devices,” said General Manager Neil Gane. “The prevalence of ISDs in Hong Kong and across South East Asia is staggering. The criminals who sell ISDs, as well as those who operate the ISD networks and pirate websites, are profiting from the hard work of talented creators, seriously damaging the legitimate content ecosystem as well as exposing consumers to dangerous malware.” Malware warnings are very prevalent these days but it’s not something the majority of set-top box owners have a problem with. Indeed, a study carried by Sycamore Research found that pirates aren’t easily deterred by such warnings. Nevertheless, there are definite risks for individuals selling devices when they’re configured for piracy. Recent cases, particularly in the UK, have shown that hefty jail sentences can hit offenders while over in the United States (1,2,3), lawsuits filed by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) have the potential to end in unfavorable rulings for multiple defendants. Although rarely reported, offenders in Hong Kong also face stiff sentences for this kind of infringement including large fines and custodial sentences of up to four years. Source
  18. One of the largest and most sophisticated distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks has hit a controversial online democracy poll canvassing opinion on future Hong Kong elections. Over the weekend some 680,000 people cast votes in the unofficial poll that offered residents of special administrative region to highlight their preferred political representatives. Candidates were officially chosen by a 1,200-strong committee that was widely considered to be very sympathetic to Beijing. Security outfit CloudFlare said it was still fending off the sophisticated DDoS attack as of Monday morning, long after the polls closed. The company's founder and CEO Matthew Prince said it was the most sophisticated attack yet seen. "We saw 300Gbps at the peak of the attack, but it was likely significantly larger than that," Prince told The Register. "This may well have been the largest attack we, or anyone else, have ever seen. It definitely was the most sophisticated." While perpetrators were not named, Popvote.hk was an obvious direct threat to Beijing which had planned to introduce universal suffrage for Hong Kong by 2017 at the earliest. Cloudflare says it was tipped off ahead of the compute-draining attacks and set up a series of DNS sinkholes that stonewalled the attack traffic so it never reached Cloudflare or Popvote.hk. "Since we had advanced warning the attack was coming, we'd put in place measures to sinkhole traffic in certain regions so it never hit our network," Prince said. This is new: Layer 7 HTTPS flood that prioritizes TLSv1/DES-CBC3-SHA, which is CPU intensive. #clevergirl — Matthew Prince (@eastdakota) June 20, 2014 The website was closed off to residents outside of Hong Kong to minimise load on the site. Source
  19. Megaupload has sued the Hong Kong Government in an attempt to unfreeze its assets, which effectively shut down the company. The file-hosting service notes that the U.S. request to lock up its assets was unlawful, and hopes to use its funds to enable users of the service to access their personal files. Well over two years have passed since Megaupload was taken offline, and the U.S. Government still hasn’t found a way to serve the Hong Kong based company. During all this time the Hong Kong authorities have kept Megaupload’s assets locked up, as part of a restraint order the U.S. Government had demanded. In a move to unfreeze these assets, Megaupload has now filed an application in a Hong Kong court. Through this application Megaupload wants the local Department of Justice to set aside the restraint order. According to Megaupload, the company should no longer be held hostage based on an order that was issued after a seemingly unlawful request by U.S. authorities. The restraint order has basically shut down the company by freezing all its bank accounts and other assets. Among other things, Megaupload says it wants to use the assets to reunite former users with the personal files they lost access to after the raid. “Over two years later, the US DOJ has yet to serve Megaupload or initiate substantive criminal proceedings against it, trapping Megaupload in a state of criminal limbo,” Megaupload’s global litigation counsel Ira Rothken says in a comment. “During that time, the restraint order has prevented Megaupload from conducting business or paying bandwidth expenses needed to return cloud storage data to users. Needless to say, Megaupload and its cloud storage users have been severely prejudiced by the US Department of Justice’s conduct,” he adds. Megaupload believes that the restraint order was issued unlawfully, in part because the U.S. Government failed to disclose how the Hong Kong company would be served. “As further argued in Megaupload’s application, the US DOJ’s inability to prosecute Megaupload over this long period of time is grounds to discharge the injunction independent from the US Department of Justice’s nondisclosure,” Rothken says. To back up its request, Megaupload has submitted affidavits from two criminal law experts. Richard Davis, who is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and member of the Watergate Prosecution Force, and Stanford Law School professor Robert Weisberg. Earlier today, the High Court of Hong Kong ordered the local Department of Justice to respond to Megaupload’s allegation. This response has to be filed early June, after which the court will decide on the issue. If Megaupload wins its case the door will be open for a multi-billion dollar civil claim. Megaupload was previously valued at two billion dollars and before the raid was planning a listing on the U.S. stock market. Source: TorrentFreak
  20. One of the more popular phones right now, surprisingly, is the Moto G. And by popular, I mean the one making all the headlines and being the most talked about. The Moto G was announced by Motorola back in November and has really taken the world by storm. Not because it’s a spectacular device. But when you factor in the price for the Moto G, it really does become a spectacular device. The Moto G is available (here in the States) for $179 for the 8GB model and $199 for the 16GB model. Now if you’re looking for a device in that price range you’re going to find some pretty bad choices. The Moto G features a 4.5-inch 720p display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 processor which is quad-core and clocked at 1.2GHz, as well as 1GB of RAM, and a 5MP shooter on the back and VGA shooter on the front. Now the Moto G is heading over to Hong Kong, according to My Drivers. And supposedly it’ll only be available in black and in the 16GB variation. However, Motorola will be selling the back cover in white, red, purple, blue, yellow, and green for HK$118, while the Moto G will be HK$1898. The Moto G is also expected to launch with Android 4.3 – Jelly Bean on board instead of Android 4.4.2 – KitKat, even though it has been released for the Moto G already. So we’d expect to see the update available shortly after launch in Hong Kong. The Moto G also has a pretty hefty 2070mAh battery inside, which does provide all-day battery life. In fact, I’ve seen a few people get around 6-7 hours on screen time with it. Which is just insane! It’s great to see Motorola pushing the Moto G everywhere, especially since the Moto X is only in North and South America right now and heading to Europe next month. We do know that Motorola is making some money off of the Moto G, but we can guarantee it’s not a lot, but it is nice to see them pushing it pretty hard. Source
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