How Hong Kong Protesters Combat the Surveillance State

A major priority of the protest movement that’s consumed Hong Kong for the past 3 and half months is awarding the surveillance apparatus that literally everywhere. Demonstrators have pulled down camera poles, spray painted lenses, used green lasers to destroy sensors, and shielded themselves with umbrellas while marching through the streets. There’s a growing concern about surveillance and it’s totally understandable, because there’s a total lack of trust in the government with this whole saga. Though Hong Kong is politically autonomous under the one country two systems model, local authorities have wired up the city enabling them to keep an eye on ever corner of public life here. And protestors suspect they may be sharing that information with the Chinese government, Hong Kong officials deny that camera’s on top of the city’s so-called smart lamp posts feed location or facial recognition data to Beijing. But that may be a lie. Activists with the political organization, Demosisto, analyze the internal components of one of these cameras and found an ethernet switch that could conceivably connect to the main land surveillance network. They also found components inside that were manufactured by a company that’s a known supplier of the Chinese government surveillance technology. People are becoming more and more suspicious about any kind of possible surveillance. Are you tracking my Bluetooth on my phone? Are you tracking my signals? Are you trying to get the
information about my whereabouts? How could I trust that you are not doing
that? That’s why we always say, okay, use VPN. Many times demonstrators use virtual private networks or VPNs to access the internet. And they communicate through telegram,
which fully encrypts their messages. Many of these groups in telegram are tens of thousands of people. And the more important thing is you can stay anonymous. Anonymity, particularly for this particular campaign, has become a big concern for many of these protesters. Without a safe communication, I don’t think this revolution can last for that long actually. The government can crackdown everybody, very very easily, if there’s no encryption in this revolution. Demonstrators are also refraining from using their credit cards and the digital payment system, Octopus, which is an option in Hong Kong’s public transit system and most stores. October card. Actually every single payment you make, it can be traced. Actually there are many, many cases that some protesters were proved that they have been to certain locations, and certain times, because they
have used those Octopus cards. To discuss strategy demonstrators use LIHKG, a social media site that allows anonymous posting and is known as the Reddit of Hong Kong. They’ve also created decentralized networks for sharing information through airdrop, a function on the iPhone that transfers data directly to another person via bluetooth, without a third party intermediary. This is a movement that is totally leaderless and decentralized, and the reason for that is the youngsters, first of all, they have kick-started the whole movement by using all these tools internet to really find a newer way to organize the sort of movement and to really sustain it in the longer term. The protest movements, unofficial motto is “be water.” A Bruce Lee phrase that’s meant to convey A Bruce Lee phrase that’s meant to convey that in a battle, the more fluid and malleable an adversary, the harder it is to stop. The absence of a central authority has left the protestors communication network particularly vulnerable to sabotage. Twitter recently removed what they said were approximately 200,000 Chinese state-linked accounts, spreading rumors of protest violence being orchestrated by foreign powers. Fake news is a big, big problem in Hong Kong. I’m working with some people in journalism, and academic areas to try to see that there are more locally based fact checking organizations that can be set up. And I think that would go a long way. A major factor motivating the protestors in their fight to maintain political autonomy from mainland China is the surveillance apparatus that the Beijing government imposes on its own citizens. Such as the social credit system in which individuals are rated for good behavior, and a bad score can impede their ability to travel, attend the best schools, or get hired for the best jobs. We worry so much about surveillance, facial recognition everywhere, social credit, the great firewall. To average people in Hong Kong, do you expect these things to be extended to Hong Kong in 10 years time? I think most people cannot answer that question with confidence to say that it will not. And that is the problem. The Hong Kong government has stopped answering the demands of the protestors. And the conflict grew more acrimonious on October 1st after a police officer shot in the chest and injured an 18 year old demonstrator who had attempted to hit him with a rod. Last week, the government announced a ban on wearing face masks in the street. It has escalated to a point where people are realizing what we need is a political reform in the whole Hong Kong legislative system. And also of course, that the communist
government is not backing down either. So we are preparing ourselves for an even longer fight.

33 thoughts on “How Hong Kong Protesters Combat the Surveillance State”

  1. It's tragic that someone can orchestrate Hong Kong's youths to destroy Hong Kong. They are destroying their own home their family's home thinking someone will build HK back up when this is all over. This wound will not easily heal and the scar will never go away.

  2. It's tragic that someone can orchestrate Hong Kong's youths to destroy Hong Kong. They are destroying their own home their family's home thinking someone will build HK back up when this is all over. This wound will not easily heal and the scar will never go away.

  3. It's tragic that someone can orchestrate Hong Kong's youths to destroy Hong Kong. They are destroying their own home their family's home thinking someone will build HK back up when this is all over. This wound will not easily heal and the scar will never go away.

  4. The expected outcome after all this would be the Chinese government sending their military and wiping out all the protesters. I just wish we don't have the rise of socialism in the US to provide a country of freedom, but not anymore, the number of countries with good freedom on this planet is zero.

  5. Talking about surveillance state, the US is the pioneer in the field.
    Despite these fact from Mr. Snowden, the US still hypocritically blame China as a surveillance state. It's ridiculous.

  6. Hk ownself self destruct ownself. Even if the MObs wins . No investor will put money in Hk that will be rule of lwas are control by the Mobs. No one will create jobs for these Hong Keesss. Expect the life of Hong keess to get worse


    AT the end of the Day, ALL hk citizens suffers including the Mobs and their families members, friends , colleagues , relative etc.

    The Mobs are making travelling difficult for themselves. High ranking politicians dont use the MTR anway

  7. Neither Carrie, nor Denise nor Joshua speak for the "be water" demonstrators who are increasingly frustrated albeit "funded" by invisible hands. Their romantic idea of freedom and democracy do not exist even in Britain and America as their carry out their impossible demands in the form of unprecedented street violence which can have only one conclusion. Going by the fall of Saigon, it is unlikely America will magically come in to deliver them from the hands of China. It is also likely a post brexit Britain will be more interested to trade with Beijing than mess around with Hong Kong.

  8. China will never abide by the agreement, and even if they did the agreement still means HK eventually comes under Chinese control. HK citizens should fight to the death to prevent being conquered by the Chinese Communist Party. they need more than 5 demands, they need complete independence and a reforming of the government. they could model themselves from the US legal system. they'd love the freedom offered by the constitution, its more freedom than their UK rulers gave them…

  9. they destroyed so many things, beat so many people, of course, they are fearful of the camera because they commit crimes. In the US, all citizens' phone conversations and online activities are being watched by your gov't which is revealed by Snowden. No evidence said HK gov't has done the same.

  10. Youtube cowardly deletes many of my Comments!?!?! The situation will get worse! These are not Hong Kong peaceful protestors, but masked/undercover traitorous/foreign rioters/terrorists. The HK riot police should have effectively used real bullets right from the start.

  11. Fact – surveillance is for criminal activity. If you don't break the law, why fear? Think that the system can become your life saver if u ever get caught in a life threatening situation or get kidnapped. No one watch the Korean drama _ Voice?

  12. Arrests all the rioters and sends them to China, there is plenty of lands to accommodate them, if found guilty, let’s them faced the firing squad, no point of sending them back to Hong Kong.

  13. If you are about to buy a product, check the country of origin. If it’s from China, you know what to do. Take the high road.
    Note that on food products “imported by” and “distributed by” are not indicators of country of origin.

  14. Viva la revolution.

    I was terrified, when I first visited Hong Kong and saw, how many cameras were there. Almost any corner hat a camera

  15. What s there to nego on the 5 ridiculous demands?
    Retarded illiterates destroying HK. Democratic HK? No. 3 in the world Index n saying no democracy in HK? CCP is infringement into human rights? N what s happening now in Europe with human rights. The Africans r creating havoc in France. N US is instigating wars throughout the world with so called democracy. Wtf

  16. Its amazing because this is the type of REAL struggle the American left is desperate for. The problem is they support the end of free speech and want total Government control so they cant get behind these people.

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