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How to Protect Yourself on the Internet During the Hong Kong Protests

Recent moves of China regarding Hong Kong have a lot of people worried. Protestors can easily get jail time and even jail time that can result in a life sentence. And the new laws, they allow for the police to request ISP providers to hand over your data.

And that brings the question of how you can protect yourself on the internet during the Hong Kong protests.

But first...

Why You Need to Protect Yourself on the Internet in Hong Kong

In 1997, Britain ended its Hong Kong colony, signing an agreement with China, resulting in Hong Kong having semi-autonomous rule until at least 2047. That meant different governments, different systems, essentially, in a way, making Hong Kong its own country.

In the past, China has made attempts to change things around but has failed to do so.

This has changed a lot, in June of 2019, leading to huge-scale protests.

Take it back to June 2020, and the Chinese president signed a new national security law, set to reduce the freedoms of the city, slowly signaling the end of mostly free Hong Kong.

The new law would allow for protesters to get jailed, under the term of terrorism, allowing for life sentence, but also for behind closed-door trials, wire-tapping of potential subjects, and  potential for trials to be held on mainland of China.

As far as the internet goes, internet providers will potentially have to hand over data if it’s ever requested by the police.

How to Protect Yourself on the Internet During the Hong Kong Protests

If China is making it possible to request data from internet service providers, you need to be able to limit what your internet provider can see, so that it has nothing to provide.

And to do that, you are going to need to use a VPN, which will allow you to use the internet with a different IP address, while staying encrypted, meaning that your internet provider won’t be able to see what you are doing.

However, a standard VPN will only be enough in the event that VPN services don’t get banned in Hong Kong.

...If they do, that’s where you will also need Stealth VPN, a feature that PrivateVPN comes with.

See, standard VPN traffic doesn’t blend in with normal internet traffic, meaning it’s quite easy to block VPN services. What the Stealth VPN feature does, is that it makes VPN traffic blend in with normal traffic, thus allowing a VPN to work.

...At the cost of speed.

Do You Still Need a VPN If Not Engaging in the Hong Kong Protests?

This is an often asked question.

And most people would assume that if you aren’t engaging in the Hong Kong protests, that you don’t need one.

Except, the laws that China is starting to push, seem to be going in a direction, where a lot of things that would have been normal in the past, will not be allowed for much longer.

...But here’s why it makes sense to get a VPN now if in Hong Kong, even if you don’t currently need it or think you need it.

If China imposed any more radical laws on Hong Kong, with those involving privacy or the use of VPN, like it already happens in China, where VPN services are blocked and mostly don’t work, then you are going to make it hard for yourself to get a VPN.

...Meanwhile, if you already have a VPN like PrivateVPN downloaded, even if you don’t currently use, then in the event of China banning VPN services in Hong Kong, you won’t have issues trying to access the PrivateVPN website, nor getting the app, as you will already have it.

And perhaps, for some, there’s another reason to use some VPN services too.

For instance, PrivateVPN allows you to unblock many entertainment services around the world that aren’t available in Hong Kong. For instance, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and much more, which we go over in our guides.

Those platforms aren’t blocked in Hong Kong because of China, but because they don’t have the rights to show contents across the world. That’s because sometimes it’s not possible, and sometimes it’s too expensive.

Other Ways to Protect Yourself on the Internet During the Hong Kong Protests

...It’s by not searching for things that might be used against you.

Such as about how to protect yourself on the internet during the Kong Hong protests. 

But perhaps the biggest aspects to consider is who you share information with, and what they do for their safety.

If you are protected with a VPN during the Hong Kong protests, that’s great. But if you are talking with someone about something that has to do with the laws, and they aren’t protecting themselves, if they get in trouble, you can get in trouble.

...Especially since a part of the law consists of people that corporate and give names of others, being able to get lesser sentences.

So be careful with who you share things with, and what you share with them. Anything sensitive is probably best to leave out from the internet unless you know everyone is taking full measures to protect themselves.

Written by Michael Smolski.

Disclaimer: While PrivateVPN works in countries in censorship and supports blocked entertainment services around the world, due to the nature of constant measures being taken against VPN services, it cannot guarantee you non-stop 100% of the time, support, at all given times.