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Hong Kong commission calls for more safeguards in surveillance law

[JURIST] The Hong Kong Law Reform Commission (HKLRC) [official website] on Friday released its proposals [HKLRC press release] to embed greater safeguards in the executive order on covert surveillance operations made last year by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen [official profile]. Hong Kong High Court Justice Michael Hartmann ruled the order unconstitutional [JURIST report] in February. The HKLRC report [text, PDF] demands regulation of covert surveillance performed by any entity, not just law enforcement agencies. The HKLRC, which was appointed by the Hong Kong government, has also suggested prohibiting recording and wiretapping, whether or not on private property, and trespassing with the intent to spy.

Judge Hartmann did not reject the bill outright in February but granted the government six months to replace it with a version which would pass constitutional scrutiny. The Hong Kong government now has four months left to consider the proposals by the commission and reform the law. Channel News Asia has more.

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