Hong Kong Legislators Pass Sweeping Surveillance Bill – Keith Bradsher

From the New York Times:

Pro-Beijing lawmakers approved legislation here Sunday that gives broad authority to the police to conduct covert , including wiretapping phones, bugging homes and offices and monitoring e-mail.

The bill passed the 60-member Legislative Council on a vote of 32-0 after pro-democracy lawmakers walked out of the chamber in protest during the morning. The Democratic Party and its allies had tried to introduce nearly 200 amendments to the bill through four days of marathon debates, but all were defeated or ruled out of order.

James To, the Democratic Party lawmaker who is the chairman of the Legislature’s security committee, said that the law gave too much discretion to the police and to the chief executive. He contended that the law would make it too easy for the government to monitor political opponents. [Full Text]

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