Hong Kong: Website doxing Hong Kong protesters, including journalists

A website was recently found to have purported to post personal information of journalists in Hong Kong. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) strongly condemn doxing of journalists and urge the Hong Kong government to take action to protect the privacy of journalists and citizens.

Credit: AFP

The website registered under a “.ru” domain name was discovered on September 17, containing personal information of reporters and citizens who the site alleges participated in the recent Hong Kong protests. Personal information disclosed on the website includes photos, date of births, job details, social media accounts, residential address’ and contact information. These acts endanger the personal safety of journalists and their families. Doxing has a chilling effect by limiting the ability for people to exercise their democratic rights. 

The IFJ is very concerned about the doxing of journalists and strongly condemns the act of doxing. Doxing is the act of sharing private information about an individual or organisation on the internet with malicious intent. We urge the people who are accessing the doxing sites to stop uploading and sending out the personal information of people. According to the Hong Kong Journalists Association, such acts of doxing may have violated the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. 

The IFJ reaffirms that the Hong Kong Government is required to uphold press freedom and freedom of expression as well as ensure journalists have privacy and a safe environment.

The IFJ said: “We urge the Hong Kong Government to investigate the matter immediately. We request the Hong Kong Government to follow up with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data to remove the information that is in breach of the ordinance and refer to the police for criminal investigation.”