先來一個T / F / NG
( ) Big tech firms are closing their offices in China.
Do corporations usually act in the interests of the public, or do they act purely to protect their profits? That is one of the questions that should be considered in the latest threats from big tech companies to pull out of Hong Kong, and thus possibly leave China altogether. According to the accounts offered by various newspapers, an industry body known as the Asia Internet Coalition, which represents big technology companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook, has indicated that their members will withdraw services from Hong Kong, ostensibly because they do not agree with the terms of new privacy laws being proposed there. To some commentators, it seems as though this action is being undertaken in support of a more open and free internet, and in defiance of China’s crackdown on freedoms in the territory. But is this really a decision made by tech companies in the interests of the people of Hong Kong specifically, and the internet in general?
大公司是不是真的會為公共利益設想呢？還是它們只是單純為了保護自己公司的利益呢? 最近有需多公司揚言要離開香港，甚至很有可能要乾脆退出中國市場，讓人不禁想到這些問題。根據許多報章媒體的說法，亞洲互聯網聯盟Asia Internet Coalition，其組成成員包括了Google, Apple, Twitter, 和Facebook, 揚言要退出在香港的營運服務，這件事表面上看起來，是因為這些大公司不同意支持香港新的網路隱私政策，網路上不少評論認為，這些網路巨擘此舉應該是為了支持一個更加公開自由的網路世界，並表態反對中國對自由的箝制，但事實真的是如此嗎 ？這些世界級的網路大公司，到底真的是為香港人民的權益發聲，還是為了網路使用的利益才這麼做的呢？
The privacy laws in question are also referred to as “anti-doxing” laws. In other words, they are designed to protect people’s privacy online by preventing “doxing”, or the releasing of personal information like job titles, addresses and phone numbers in the public domain. The laws were proposed in the wake of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019, when the doxing of public officials and police, and also protestors and activists, led to threats to people’s lives, as well as the breaches of privacy associated with having one’s personal information made public. So, what should be considered personal information that must not be publicly available online? And who should be protected from public scrutiny, for example from citizens and journalists who see it as a matter of genuine public interest to know what kind of property and assets that government officials possess? Perhaps the more important question is: are big tech companies really “standing up” for more open and publicly accessible information for the sake of freedom and transparency? Otherwise, are they actually just concerned about the potential losses in advertising revenue should information sharing be curtailed, or the possible arrests of their staff, should private information be made available on their platforms?