HKJA demands CE’s promise not to restrict registry searches conducted for journalistic purposes

The Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam mentioned during the Legco Q&A session today, in order to deal with the doxing issues, various government departments will review the legal requirements and administrative arrangements for the registry search, and make adjustments or even amendments as necessary. HKJA is extremely concerned about the abovementioned measures. In particular, the Chief Executive has not further explained the media search arrangements. It is worrying that the authorities will restrict legitimate interview works under the pretext of cracking down “doxing behaviours”.

HKJA reiterates that the media conducting interviews through registry searches are completely different from the government’s repeated mentions of people obtaining the information from registry searches for doxxing behaviour. In the past, many media reports involving major public interests, including illegal construction of high-ranking government officials and election fraud, have been revealed through registry search. There has never been an incident of media abuse of search

The Chief Executive publicly stated today that the government will balance the interests of all parties when reviewing the regulations and arrangements for the search to ensure that the purpose of the search is achieved, while at the same time better protecting personal privacy. HKJA therefore urges the Chief Executive to make a commitment to ensure that there will be no restrictions on registry  searches for interview purposes, so as to protect the only remaining freedom of the press.

Hong Kong Journalists Association

4 February 2021

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