Google stops responding to data requests from Hong Kong

Platform News: Google

The US search engine giant hadn’t produced any data since the sweeping new law occurred in June and would not directly respond to these requests, it stated.

“As always, authorities outside the US may seek data needed for criminal investigations through diplomatic procedures,” Google said in an Emailed statement.

Google reviewed all requests for user data and pushed back on “overly broad ones” to safeguard the privacy of users, it included.

The Washington Post newspaper reported earlier on Friday that Google would stop reacting directly to data requests from Hong Kong authorities, implying the company would now treat Hong Kong effectively the same as mainland China in these dealings.

The national security law has drawn criticism from the administration of US President Donald J Trump and further raised US-China tensions after Washington’s decision to end the former British colony’s special status under American law.


Google notified Hong Kong authorities on Thursday that it would direct officials to pursue some requests for information through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States, which entails routing through the US Justice Department, the Washington Post reported.

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In July, Facebook, Google and Twitter suspended processing government asks for user data in Hong Kong.

Tech companies have long operated freely in Hong Kong, a financial hub where net access has been unaffected by the firewall imposed in mainland China, which blocks Google, Twitter and Facebook.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Google stops responding to data requests from Hong Kong‘ article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle and Stephen Coates.

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