[-empyre-] *TickTack*: Speculating the emergency law + wider relations to the west

//Winnie Soon rwx at siusoon.net
Mon Sep 2 01:33:53 AEST 2019

There are many events and incidents happened in the past few months in 
Hong Kong. Instead of laying out everything with a long text and 
reference lists/news, I have selected a short film "Hong Kong's fight 
for democracy" as a point of departure, which is produced independently 
by a video producer, photographer and writer Parjanya Christian Holtz 
who is now based in Denmark. (see here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzfgG1CZjc0) The film touches upon 
various tactics used by Hong Kong people, such as the crowdsourcing 
newspaper campaign "stand with Hong Kong at G20", decentralized, 
leaderless and autonomous organization (2:22), social media 
communications such as telegram, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook 
(3:44), hand signals (5:14), reaching out international support (5:43), 
demonstration at the Hong Kong airport, etc.

In view of many possible lines of discussion regarding things that have 
happened, such as the surveillance lamposts (see here: 
decentralization of the leaderless protests, use of telegram and the 
online forum (especially LIHKG: https://lihkg.com), sending and 
receiving updates and files via airdrop onsite, this thread would rather 
focus on the emergency power, which refers to the "Emergency Regulations 
Ordinance" (see here: 
that was passed by the colonial government in 1922, giving the super 
power to the chief executive to "make any regulations whatsoever which 
he [or she] may consider desirable in the public interest". This could 
include limiting internet access, extending censorship of media and 
communications, controlling of all transportation systems, and many 
others. While the western world is speculating on Chinese army may 
deploy in Hong Kong, this potential deployment of the emergency rule 
will confer great powers from the HK government to control many aspects 
of life. This would have huge cultural, economic, political and social 
implications and consequences across local and international 
organizations. John Tsang Chun-wah, former financial secretary and a HKU 
Adjunct Professor, warns this will bring "disastrous results" to Hong 
Kong. (see here for the full article: 

Yesterday, LIHKG, one of the HK most local popular chat forums for 
discussing the protest strategies, was subjected to an unprecedented 
giant DDoS attacks resulting in internet congestion, blocking sites  and 
server overload. According to LIHKG, total attack requests exceeded 1.5 
billion on 31 Aug 219, highest record on the total request frequency was 
260k/sec in which then lasted for 30 mins before it is banned. 

Additionally, Twitter and Facebook, just earlier on, had shut down 
hundreds of accounts that were spreading misinformation about the 
pro-Democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong against China. Both platforms 
identified these as part of a Chinese campaign to change public opinion 
in the West. Furthermore, it appears that western media and tech 
companies like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Telegram are somehow 
involved in the Hong Kong protests and in the wider political regime (in 
terms of both end users' generated content and corporational policies). 
See also the latest report on the telegram app update to prevent 
identity monitoring by authorities: 

In response to the week 1 topic on *TICKTACK* I hear the water running, 
this thread is more to speculating tactics not only used by protesters 
locally but also outlining some of the cultural and technological 
phenomenon in western tech and media companies, and, last but the least, 
the concerns of emergency power that could extend various kinds of 
censorship in Hong Kong.

Winnie Soon

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