As a victim, I back doxxing bill: Priscilla Leung

Pro-government lawmaker Priscilla Leung said on Thursday that she supports the authorities’ move to introduce laws targeting doxxing and the sharing of other’s information without consent.

Lawmakers are expected to scrutinise the relevant bill next week.

Leung, who is also a barrister, said she has been doxxed before and understands the need to protect people’s privacy.

She dismissed any suggestion that the new laws will deal a blow to freedom of expression, if online platforms self-censor to play safe.

“Even for printed copies of newspaper, the editor-in-chief, the writer… have to be careful of the messages they write, and they have to take due care,” Leung said.

“If you want to have your freedom of speech… to be protected, not to be taken away by other people casually, you need to obey the law.”

Leung also defended the plan to allow the privacy commissioner to order the arrest of doxxing suspects without a court warrant.

“I believe [the doxxing act] must have harmed a certain victim to a certain extent that it may go beyond ordinary defamatory remarks… like maybe if [the doxxers] continue, the person may commit suicide,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Journalists Association said it does not oppose the government’s move to curb doxxing and protect people’s privacy, adding that journalists have also fallen victim to doxxing in the past.

The association said it also welcomes the government’s plan to introduce a defence for journalists carrying out news reporting, but said it hopes authorities will enforce the law impartially and it won’t just be used to target government opponents.

Ronson Chan, the chairman of the association, also raised concerns over whether the authorities would use a strict definition of news reporting when it comes to enforcing the law, resulting in certain news reports being deemed to be doxxing.

“We are worried about how the law [will be] enforced, for example how law enforcement agencies treat media work or journalistic work, how they define it,” Chan said.

“We hope the government, for example, the privacy commissioner, could give us more information about the legislation and have a more detailed consultation with us, so we can learn more about what will happen soon.”