Asia Pacific Media Educator


This paper is a critical examination of the privacy and free expression implications of surveillance in the wake of new anti-terrorism law in Hong Kong. Surveillance has increased worldwide since the recent terrorist attacks. New technological modes of surveillance have become indispensable weapons in this ‘war on terrorism’. The extent to which such surveillance technology impacts on privacy and free expression has been explored extensively in the literature both in Europe and North America. The issue, however, has received little attention in Asia. European and North American anti-terrorism laws are set within the framework of legislative safeguards – safeguards as to the permissible boundaries of State surveillance. Where anti-terrorism laws impede civil liberties, the legislation is relatively clear and transparent. The situation in Hong Kong may be differentiated with that in Europe and North America; there do not appear to be any legal safeguards in place to curtail surveillance, while the notion of transparency seems wholly lacking in the larger legal framework of surveillance.