‘…wait at home for us to arrest you’

Not just authoritarian so much as disturbing, Police Commissioner Chris Tang rants again about ‘fake news’…

“Whether a piece is considered fake news has to do with moral judgement and credibility issues, and has nothing to do with me. But if these fake news incite hatred and divide society, then people have a chance of committing crimes, including offences related to national security. Then I have to act,” Tang said…

“As long as you broke the law, we will find evidence to prove that you committed a crime. You can only wait at home for us to arrest you. But you don’t have to worry at all if you didn’t break the law,” he said.

Sounds like the Commissioner will use his moral judgement and credibility to decide whether a story ‘incites hatred and divides society’. The baiting of individual law or education professionals by Ta Kung Pao presumably won’t, but any Apple Daily report exposing incompetence or brutality by the disciplined services will – as would some recent Hong Kong coverage in The Guardian, Atlantic and other international media. 

Every day – every week, at least – we get that little bit closer to packing our bags.

Also coming soon: a new, very tough, law against doxxing. The naming of cops in online forums is another of the Police Commissioner’s big hang-ups. But this drastic leveraging of the Privacy Commissioner’s function – along with the partial obscuring of business and vehicle registration records – suggests that the pressure comes from higher up, and is aimed at ensuring the confidentiality of CCP elites and their families.

Despite all this, Ranting So-Called Freak-Out of the Week Award goes not to the HK Police chief but to Globular Times, for its extreme reaction to a little-known democracy conference in Copenhagen at which Taiwan President Tsai Ing Wen appeared.

A mid-week round-up of recent items on other fake news…

From the Hoover Institution, a guide to the CCP’s overseas propaganda…

Leveraging Western elites’ weakness and gullibility, plus the vulnerability of open societies, the CCP’s massive overseas propaganda campaigns can be delineated into four general categories: disinformation, elite capture, coerced self-censorship, and brainwashing.

One example: an analytical study of Beijing’s Twitter activities in the UK, with graphics showing things like the fake accounts that follow the PRC ambassador. (Summary in this AP report.)

And an Axios report on the expansion of Beijing’s influence work in the US, based on foreign-agent filings.

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14 Responses to ‘…wait at home for us to arrest you’

  1. donkey says:

    Does Chris Tang know about the national security officer that they had to put on leave because he was caught in a raid at an unlicensed massage parlour, allegedly?

    Should that guy have waited at home? I think so. By leaving home he committed a crime, allegedly. Though, notably, he wasn’t “arrested” or charged with anything. The police will conduct a thorough investigation until everyone forgets about it.

  2. Casira says:

    @donkey: there’s probably more to this story. Can’t wait for the mainlander that will replace him.

  3. Din Dan Che says:

    @Casira _ So he’s going to be relieved and the job handed to a more stiff CCP-er?

  4. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Donkey: very well put. However, I am inclined to agree with @Casira, as I am certain there’s much more to this story. The officer in question joined the ranks in 1995, so there could be a suspicion that his loyalty may not be “correct”.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    So the plan is, while we wait at home to be arrested, the only viewing on TV will be endless ra ra coverage of HK and China athletes……. or catch up on back episodes of the CE’s meet my potential voters series on RTHK.

  6. Casira says:

    @Din Dan Che: They had to manage police force morale and expectations last year when the unit was created, this is no longer the case. The news came from an exclusive from SCMP so it’s definitely orchestrated (like all their so-called “exclusives”).

  7. Joe Blow says:

    I am no mathematician, but the chance that one of hundreds of unlicensed brothels is being raided at just that one hour (how long does it take?) that one of the 7 NatSec popo supremes is paying a visit (as well as the lady) would put the odds in Mark 6 territory.

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    I always find it laughable that the shoe polish haired gang all go a twattering away in their overseas postings and there are manufactured followers in China.

    Plus: isn’t Twatter BANNED in the PRC?? (I know, I know…their deep insights and clever retorts are not for domestic consumption)

  9. Pulling rank says:

    Not sure what the actual moral outrage is over Director of National Security Frederic Choi.

    Surely by definition all Directors of National Security are wankers? And as a senior assistant commissioner, commissioning assistance seems par for the course, does it not?

    Talk about “does what is says on the tin”…

  10. Casira says:

    @Pulling rank: You’re assuming he was a customer there, but maybe he was moonlighting.

  11. Purple flourescent light says:

    Re: Ass Cummissionner – the details in the Post story are sparse other than the career implications, while speculation abounds on Twitter and here, but all in one direction.
    There is no mention (yet) of the unlicensed parlour’s location; how many people including masseurs were at the scene and from what unit(s) the cops were from.
    My theory is there’s so much paranoia in that unit and officers are likely tailed by one squad or another after work. Freddie just happened to visit this place and top brass thought it better to let the marbles fell on the floor at once rather than trying to handle what would’ve drizzled out later (f’narf, f’narf!)

  12. where's my jet plane says:

    Massagegate: What wonderful conspiracy theory country! Top cop in charge of national insecurity investigated by anti-triad squad. However, hands up anyone who thinks that it won’t be a whitewash. NFF – no fault found.

    Meanwhile it seems plain that the former so-called Asia’s Finest is not a happy ship. There must be some serious internal politicking in progress, not least that the story escaped into the wild.

    I was slightly amused by the latest photo of our dearly beloved CoP in the Post’s latest update today. For the last few days he has been pictured in plain clothes, relaxed, sometimes masked sometimes not. Today, however, in uniform, hatted and heavily masked and viewed from a psychologically superior angle. Might he be embarrassed?

  13. where's my jet plane says:

    Slightly OT but does anyone know why HK police officers (as opposed to ORs) and who are, by definition, civil servants, carry swords on ceremonial occasions?
    Some colonial habits fail to go away.

  14. A Poor Man says:

    Casira – Comment of the month!

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