IT post sparks snooping fears

PRO-DEMOCRACY lawmakers have slammed the police, accusing officers of trying to censor internet speech by opening a new post of chief superintendent for IT crimes.

At a Finance Committee meeting, police said that the section had no officer of chief superintendent rank since it was established two years ago. Proestablishment lawmakers blasted the opposition for ignoring citizens’ cyber safety, and smearing the Force.

The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB, 網絡安全及科技罪案調查科) was upgraded from the former Technology Crime Division (科技罪案組) in January 2015 to increase police capability in preventing and combating technology crimes and handling cyber security incidents.

The new post was proposed as police would need “dedicated staffing support at the directorate level to lead the CSTCB”.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Charles Peter Mok (莫乃光) said there is not enough transparency and questioned whether Hongkongers using the internet would be under CSTCB surveillance. He said police have failed to give him clarifications for crimes of access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent”.

The bureau said it is transparent.

Holden Chow Ho-ding (周浩鼎), a Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (民建聯) lawmaker, backed the proposal and said opposition lawmakers ignored Hongkongers’cybersafety and smeared the police with inaccurate accusations.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 14 February 2017)

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