The Inland Revenue Department has refused to disclose details of its 13 requests to ISP's for user data, citing the secrecy provisions of the Business Ordinance and the Inland Revenue Ordinance.
The Department says that it could not reveal the details of the information requested, including whether the requests were acceded to, and whether the requests were made under court orders.
Of the 11 government departments included in the government's release of data, the IRD is the only one that has refused to give details of its requests.
The illegal sale of controlled or unregistered Chinese medicines online has become a major concern of the Department of Health. To combat these sales, the department has asked 16 online platforms to remove 6,754 web links from their sites.
All the requests were acceded to by the online service providers. The identities of the ISP's involved were not revealed.
These thousands of requests represent 96% of all content removal requests by Hong Kong government departments.
A whopping 86% of government requests for online user data have come from the Police Department, official data show.
Over the three-year period from 2010 to 2012, the Hong Kong Police handled a total of 6864 cases of technology crime and contacted ISP's 12,501 times to ask for information about their online users. The requests were refused in some cases because the registered users of the IP addresses are located outside Hong Kong.
The police say they have sought the information mostly to investigate criminal activities involving technology or "crimes related to the use of the Internet."