Government Transparency

There is no routine disclosure of government requests for user data and content removal in Hong Kong. HKTR obtained the data from two sources:

1) responses from the government to questions on the issue by Legislative Council members;

2) replies from access to information officers of government departments to HKTR’s enquiries on the issue according to the Code on Access to Information, an administrative code stipulating the scope of government information that will be provided and how the information will be made available either routinely or by means of response to requests.

Since February 2013, legislators including Charles Mok and James To have submitted questions in the Legislative Council on government requests. HKTR worked with them in order to raise clearly defined questions and to force the government to extend the scope of information it provides in its replies. The 2016 government response for the first time included biannual statistics of government requests over the past five years, which is in accordance with international transparency standards.

 

Date Question raised by (legislator) Reply by (government official) Reporting period Webpages
6 February 2013 Charles Mok Gregory So (Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development) 2010 – 2012 (aggregated numbers) Press release
19 February 2014 Charles Mok Godfrey Leung (Acting Secretary for CED) February 2013 – January 2014 Press release
15 October 2014 James To Gregory So (Secretary for CED) February –October 2014 Press release
11 February 2015 Charles Mok Gregory So (Secretary for CED) 2011 – 2014 (annual) Press release
27 January 2016 Charles Mok Nicholas W Yang (Secretary for Innovation and Technology) 2011 – 2015 (biannual) Press release


Government departments that have revealed user data requests
:As of 2016, information released by the government shows the user data requests of seven departments and content removal requests of 13 departments.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

Companies Registry

Customs and Excise Department

Hong Kong Police Force

Inland Revenue Department

Office of the Communications Authority

Home Affairs Department

 

Government departments that have revealed content removal requests:

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

Customs and Excise Department

Hong Kong Police Force

Office of the Communications Authority

Department of Health – Chinese Medicine Division

Department of Health – Drug Office

Department of Health – Family Health Service

Hong Kong Observatory

Hongkong Post

Lands Department

Leisure and Cultural Services Department

Transport Department

Civil Aid Service