As of June 2015, at least nine activists had been arrested for online remarks. All were charged with under Section 161 of the Crimes Ordinance — “access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent” — and three had been sentenced to either community service or rehabilitation centre.
Critics argue that the authorities repress political activists’ speech on the Internet since Section 161 has a lower standard for prosecution than the more substantial offences such as “illegal gathering,” “criminal intimidation,” or “assaulting police.”
Section 161： Access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent
(1) Any person who obtains access to a computer-
(a) with intent to commit an offence;
(b) with a dishonest intent to deceive;
(c) with a view to dishonest gain for himself or another; or
(d) with a dishonest intent to cause loss to another,
whether on the same occasion as he obtains such access or on any future occasion, commits an offence and is liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment for 5 years.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) “gain” (獲益) and “loss” (損失) are to be construed as extending not only to gain or loss in money or other property, but as extending to any such gain or loss whether temporary or permanent; and-
(a) “gain” (獲益) includes a gain by keeping what one has, as well as a gain by getting what one has not; and
(b) “loss” (損失) includes a loss by not getting what one might get, as well as a loss by parting with what one has.
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