9th November, 2014
14 People Arrested for “Access to Computer with Dishonest Intent”
Since the beginning of the Umbrella Revolution, 14 individuals had been arrested by the police for “access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent”. Jame To Kun-sun, a member of the Legislative Council’s Panel on Security, criticised the police for abusing this particular section of the law. He also said that the LegCo is currently reviewing Copyright (Amendment) 2014 Bill, which shows that the HKSAR Government intends to tighten the freedom of speech in Hong Kong by the Copyright Bill, which is called the “Article 23 on Online Community”, ahead of enacting Article 23.
One of the individuals arrested by the police for “accessing to computer with criminal or dishonest intent” posted an online message to urge people to occupy Government House. The message posted by this individual included descriptions of tactics, suggesting that people should consider changing their tactics from sit-in to more proactive moves, and said that actions should not only target empty buildings.
James To thinks that this section of the law was originally enacted to target individuals who hack into others’ computers and steal information and passwords from them. However, he said, the police uses this section to arrest people for “doing anything online without any obvious criminal action”. He criticised the police for abusing this law.
James To also said that the LegCo is currently deliberating the Copyright (Amendment) 2014 Bill, which involves “parody” and “secondary creation”, these two items in the bill can lead to limiting free speech.