HKTR discusses transparency issues @ Freedom Online conference in Ulaanbaatar

HKTR @FOC panel on Asia Internet trends. Photo credit: The Asia Foundation

[picturefill id=”1213″ alttext=”HKTR @FOC panel on Asia Internet trends. Photo credit: The Asia Foundation”full ]

HKTR @FOC panel on Asia Internet trends. Photo credit: The Asia Foundation

Here is a recap of the sessions Hong Kong Transparency Report participated at the Freedom Online Coalition conference in Ulaanbaatar.

On 4 May afternoon, HKTR presented our research findings at the regional plenary on Internet Freedom Trends in Asia, and painted a general picture of Internet governance in Hong Kong from transparency and privacy perspectives. As seen in many other jurisdictions, the legal and regulatory development has not been able to catch up with the technological advances and the expansion of law enforcement powers on the Internet. HKTR shared with other panelists and the audience the common concern over government accountability and the lack of judicial scrutiny over law enforcement’s exercise of surveillance and censorship activities in cyberspace. All those issues pose severe threat to netizens’ privacy rights and free speech.

During the session hosted by FOC working group on privacy and transparency, HKTR participated in the consultation process and proposed the idea that there are great opportunity and potential for better transparency reporting from governments’ side, as proved by the progress made by the Hong Kong government. This was also the occasion when the working group published the executive summary on key findings of government and corporate transparency reports, based on the working group’s interviews with seven governments and eight companies.

Throughout the conference, HKTR had the chance to exchange ideas on Internet transparency, accountability and privacy issues with other transparency reporting projects and initiatives in South Korea, the United States and Europe. HKTR appreciates the opportunity to partake in this year’s freedom online coalition conference.

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