Great Week for Book Fair, Bad Week for SAR Press, ICAC Looking at Surveillance Software
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Book Fair Big With Moms, Youth... and Perverts?
The annual Hong Kong Book Fair has attracted big spenders this year. One woman interviewed said she had spent about $50,000 on books for her 7-month-old niece, while another mother said she had spent $50,000 over the last two years for her twin 2-year-old daughters. Locally written and published political books were in the spotlight, with youth flocking to books about democracy and Occupy. Meanwhile a photo book featuring child model Celine Yeung has been the center of controversy, thanks to photos of the 6-year-old posing in her underwear. The book drew heavy criticism from netizens and protection agency Against Child Abuse, and a signing event was cancelled. The book has been removed from the fair and police have called in photographer Ronald Lam, who has since apologized, for questioning.
Our Take: The moral: Read more, read often, don’t be creepy.
Bad Week for Hong Kong Press
It’s been a difficult week for Hong Kong media. Daily paper The Hong Kong Daily News shut down on July 12, after 56 years in business. The next day ATV lost the right to broadcast horse racing and the Mark Six results. It has passed the rights to TVB, which will air them on cable channels. On July 16 the Next Media Trade Union said that Next Magazine staff are being offered voluntary severance packages, as it will be losing half its editorial staff in two months and ceasing its print version in September. The same day, Sing Pao Daily News was unable to pay the costs of printing the newspaper after liquidators froze the organization’s bank accounts. On July 17 Gu Zhuoheng, chairman of Sing Pao Media, submitted a plan to inject $5 million into Sing Pao and invest $100 million annually to keep it running. As of press time, he is awaiting the high
Our Take: Who’s next?
ICAC Wants to Get its Hack On
WikiLeaks has released more than a million emails from the Independent Commission Against Corruption, revealing that the ICAC is in the market for mobile phone surveillance software Galileo, created by Italian cybersecurity firm “Hacking Team.” The Galileo brochure claims that the software “is invisible to the user, evades antivirus and firewalls, and doesn’t affect the devices’ performance or battery life,” and claims it is “the hacking suite for governmental interception.” HKU law professor Simon Young said that the move was “proactive,” while IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok expressed concerns that the system was intrusive and subject to considerable privacy concerns. The ICAC has confirmed that they were looking into the software.
Our Take: Clear your browser history!