Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ed Snowden, Don't Go to China

I spoke today at the rally outside the US Consulate General in Hong Kong.  Here is part of my message.

Today, we are here to support a whistleblower, possibly a hero of our times, the Internet times, Ed Snowden.

Snowden told us that with the PRISM project, the US government has taken data from many of the largest Internet companies in the world, and also made intrusions to systems around the world, including Hong Kong.

It is now for us in Hong Kong to show to the world, whether we can live up to Snowden's trust in Hong Kong: our freedom of speech, rule of law and tolerance for dissent.

So, I have three messages to the US government and also to the Hong Kong and China governments.

First, to the US, tell us what you have taken away from us in terms of our private data, and this goes not just for Hong Kong but people from all around the world.  And for the Hong Kong government, you are responsible to pursue the US government to get it back for us.

Second, Ed Snowden should be accorded all the rights he should enjoy as a person in Hong Kong, under our law and he should get all the due process that he should be entitled to.

Third, with this power struggle between the two biggest powers in the world, China and the US, all of us have the most to lose, because I don't want governments to think that now it is ok to snoop on people all around the world.  We know best in Hong Kong, being just outside of the Great Firewall of China, and part of China, the country with the biggest censorship effort, yet we enjoy a free Internet and freedom to express our minds on the Internet here.

And I have a message to Ed Snowden.  Don't go to China!  That is the country with the biggest censorship effort in the world and it is the country that goes completely opposite to the values you hold that you described to us.  Stay in Hong Kong and let us try to help you with our transparent legal system.


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