Police raid office of Public Opinion Research Institute in Wong Chuk Hang

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10th July 2020 – (Hong Kong) At around 8pm this evening, police from Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau raided the headquarters of Hong kongPublic Opinion Research Institute (PORI) at Block B, Southmark, Wong Chuk Hang, today (10th). They suspected that someone was using the computer dishonestly and requested that the computers in the research institute be seized. At least 10 plainclothes agents in the office were searching for evidence. PORI was supposed to co-organise the primary elections over the weekend to determine the candidates from the pro-democracy camp for the September elections.

It is understood that there have been rumours on the Internet that hackers invaded the PORI system, and found that there were tens of thousands of police officers’ personal information. It is suspected that the agency retained the information during the 2013 public polling. Personal information belonging to over 10,000 police officers was suspected to have leaked.

However, PORI claimed that the data had been destroyed 6 months after the polling was completed and that the system had not been compromised. However, some netizens broke the news earlier, alleging that PORI has not destroyed the data of the past polls, causing the personal data of the interviewees to leak, suspected of violation of the personal data privacy regulations.

The police subsequently received a report, suspecting that the personal information of the public (including police officers) was leaked, which may involve the computer system of the relevant organisation being hacked. So this afternoon, the staff of the Cyber ​​Security and Technology Crime Investigation Branch were sent to the relevant organisation. The officers conducted a search and the police did not make any arrests during the operation.

Deputy chief executive of PORI, Robert Chung said that what the police investigated was the placement of computers used by permanent poll investigators, and the democratic faction will hold the primary election of the Legislative Council tomorrow (11th). Hence, there will not be any impact tomorrow. He expressed that the police should trace the hacker instead.

Au Nok-hin, a pro-democracy politician believed that the police went to PORI to take the computers and documents with the intention to suppress the primary election. The district councillor believes that the incident is likely to be related to the primary election and to create a threatening effect. He called on the citizens to stay calm, and the pan-democrats will respond cautiously.

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