14 February 2022
Reports are emerging that Hong Kong Watch’s website can no longer be accessed through certain networks in Hong Kong.
We are hearing that the website cannot be accessed via PCCW, CMHK, HKBN and Netvigator networks among others, and that the behaviour is a result of DNS tampering.
Several other websites including HKChroniclees.com, Transitional Justice Commission, and HK Charter 2021 have been taken down in a similar way in recent months. According to a tweet by Nathan Hammond, an internet freedom expert, “This removal matches patterns first seen in the delisting of http://hkchronicles.com. We can safely assume that this removal from DNS was requested by the Hong Kong Police.”
Benedict Rogers, CEO of Hong Kong Watch, said:
“If this is not just a technical malfunction, and Hong Kongers will no longer be able to access our website because of the National Security Law, then this is a serious blow to internet freedom. With the steady drip of website removals, there are fears that China could begin introducing its Great Internet Firewall into the city. With time this could have serious ramifications for the continued presence of western technology companies in the city.
The city’s future as a financial hub will depend on its access to free information flows. Journalists must now verify with the Hong Kong Government why this website has been taken down.”