Google allegedly continues to ignore request by HK police to remove 7 Youtube videos suspected of violating the National Security Law

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9th December 2022 – (Hong Kong) During the Asian Rugby Sevens tournament in South Korea and at Asian Classic Powerlifting Championship. in Dubai, the wrong national anthem was broadcast successively. The Hong Kong government reported the incident to Google earlier because search for “Hong Kong National Anthem” would continue to show “Glory to Hong Kong”, the anti-government song. In addition, it has made serious representations, including demanded Google to put correct information at the top of the search results. According to the “Transparency Report” released by Google, from July 2021 to December 2021, Google received two separate requests from the Hong Kong police, hoping to remove seven Youtube videos suspected of violating the “National Security Law”. The company did not remove or restrict access to the seven videos mentioned above thereafter.

In addition, from January to June this year, Google received 31 removal requests from the Hong Kong government, involving a total of 147 items, of which 105 related to “privacy and security”, 2 related to defamation, and 2 related to “national security”. 1 involving fraud and 37 involving “all other information”, etc. During the period, Google cooperated with the removal of 27 items, accounting for about 18% of the total, of which 4 items were removed (2.7%), 19 items were removed due to legal requirements (12.9%), and 4 items were removed due to policy requirements ( 2.7%). Of the remaining 120 items, 17 items were “content not found” (11.6%), 69 items were “insufficient information” (46.9%), 34 items were “other reasons” (23.1%), and no action was taken.

In response, the police said they do not comment on individual cases. Any action taken by the police will be dealt with in accordance with the law according to the actual situation. When investigating various types of cases, the Police will request relevant persons or organisations, including Internet service providers, to furnish information or provide cooperation. All such requests will be carried out in accordance with relevant laws, procedures and rules. Each social media platform has its terms of service to regulate the information posted by users on the relevant platform. Therefore, each social media platform should fulfil its responsibility to prevent users from improperly using its platform to distribute information.

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