Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hundreds in Hong Kong Protest NSA Surveillance, Support Snowden

Both pro-China legislators and anti-Hong Kong government protesters are upset with the US government snooping.

One sign carried by a Hong Kong resident reads, "Protect Snowden. Protect Freedom."

From USA Today (6/15/2013):

Hundreds in Hong Kong protest NSA surveillance

Zach Coleman

HONG KONG — In a show of protest against U.S. surveillance programs and in support of whistle-blower Edward Snowden, several hundred people marched Saturday to the U.S. Consulate General and the offices of the Hong Kong government despite drizzly weather.

"I think it's not acceptable for the (National Security Agency) to spy" on everyone, said Patrick Cheung, who has been upset by claims former NSA contractor Snowden made about the agency's data gathering from U.S.-based Internet firms. "It's our right to have our privacy protected."

"Shame on NSA! Defend freedom of speech!" chanted marchers, who carried signs written in Chinese and English and wrapped in plastic to keep out the rain. "Protect Snowden!"

The march, backed by five opposition parties and 22 other organizations, included the presentation of protest letters addressed to U.S. Consul General Steve Young and the head of Hong Kong's government.

"We request you to stop running these surveillance programs against innocent Internet users in Hong Kong and around the world," read the letter to Young.

Before the rally, several representatives of a pro-China political party marched to the consulate to call for an end to the alleged U.S. hacking of Hong Kong computer systems, an allegation Snowden made to a local newspaper earlier in the week after he fled to the city.

Meanwhile, half of respondents in a survey of 509 residents conducted by university researchers on behalf of the South China Morning Post said they opposed the Hong Kong government turning Snowden over to U.S. authorities, while a third of respondents said they considered the NSA whistle-blower a hero.

"We are glad Snowden is brave enough to expose all the U.S. government's evil deeds," said James Hon, who marched Saturday as a leader of the League in Defence of Hong Kong's Freedom, a group that commonly participates in anti-Hong Kong government protests. "We should let Snowden live in Hong Kong and express his views freely."

Several Hong Kong legislators addressed the rally, and others are planning to raise Snowden's allegations of U.S. hacking into Hong Kong computers with government ministers at a session Wednesday. Two legislators sent their own letter addressed to President Obama saying the NSA surveillance programs had "set a dangerous precedent and will likely be used to justify similar actions by authoritarian governments".

Back at the rally, marcher Venus Hui expressed a simple hope for the man at the center of the controversy.

"I hope Snowden can go back to the U.S. one day," he said.


Anonymous said...

Just wondering... Is this the first time that Hong Kong people realized that all of our online behaviors are being monitored?

I'm not defending NSA but most commercial websites they've visited and used for shopping and browsing have been doing surveillance on them long before the U.S. gov't began doing. Your cell phones are also tracking you, where you are, what you purchase, who you call, etc.

If you don't like that, lose all of your cell phones, computers, mobile device. Snowden was one of those who actively engaged in your surveillance and get paid well. He will soon do the same for the Hong Kong and Chinese government, selling your information for his own gain, whatever it is. I'm puzzled why Hong Kong people don't realize it.

Anonymous said...

They probably don't dump toxic waste in the water there like they do elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you "Anon, June 17, 8:12 AM", but they do dump considerable toxic waste in the sea around Hong Kong. They have virtually no environmental lawas.

The water around the HK Island and Kowloon is heavily polluted with the diesel emissions from the commuter ships. It has been like that for decades, and without any environmental concern.

If you read HK travel guides, many warn that most seafood in Hong Kong are imported because the water around it is so polluted. I hear some of Fukushima area produce and seafood being imported by Hong Kong.

People there get mad at news of other countries but in general they have no clue what is going on with their own environment.

Anonymous said...

don't let people tell you that if we use computers or mobile devices that we have no choice but to completely give up our privacy

google "prism-break" (wait, nevermind google. duckduckgo or startpage are probably better)

3 more things: encrypt, encrypt, what else... oh yeah, encrypt

Anonymous said...

thanks for share........

Thü said...

Cartoon in support for Snowden and Manning:

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