EFF and more than 24 civil society organizations have written to tech companies including Apple, Google, Meta, Twitter, and Spotify urging them to oppose the Hong Kong government’s application for an injunction to ban broadcasting and distribution of the 2019 protest song, “Glory to Hong Kong.”
The injunction, if ordered by the court, would ban intermediaries from broadcasting, performing, selling, or distributing the song and its lyrics. It would also require companies to remove the song from their platforms.
This would have a disastrous impact on the rights to freedom of expression and access to information not only in Hong Kong, but globally, and would exacerbate concerns around the tendency of Hong Kong authorities to apply abusive laws for actions committed outside Hong Kong’s territory.
In December 2022, Google refused a request from authorities in Hong Kong to replace “Glory to Hong Kong” with Hong Kong’s national anthem as the top search item. More broadly, during 2022, the Hong Kong government requested that Google remove 330 items, of which 30 per cent were complied with. Similarly, between July 2020 and June 2022, Meta reported the removal of content in 50 instances after pressure from the Hong Kong government.
The letter continues:
We urge you to [...] oppose the Hong Kong government’s petition for an injunction by visiting Wan Chai Police Station in Hong Kong on or before June 21 to accept service, and then file an opposition within seven days. It is critical that internet intermediaries take a collective stance against Hong Kong’s censorship.