You may download the PDF version here: http://goo.gl/XHgcg1


Protestors’ Rights Handbook: http://wp.me/P34rUS-1X

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-16 um 13.49.57

Protestors’ Rights Handbook

Mobile Frontline


Keyboard Frontline X Hong Kong Civil Liberties Union


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 17

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.



Nowadays, everyone has a mobile phone in Hong Kong. We store a lot of personal data in our mobile phone including our photos, videos, contact information, communication records, etc. Have you ever thought of how to better protect your personal data in your mobile phone? Have you ever thought that your mobile phone could be used to defend and exercise your civil rights when necessary? Have you installed useful apps on your mobile phone before joining a protest?

Keyboard Frontline and HKCLU would like to introduce you to some basic knowledge on how to protect your mobile phone and how to use it as a shield and weapon in order to defend and exercise your civil rights through this handbook. You may also find more information about your rights in HKCLU’s Protestors’ Rights Handbook.

 A. Protect Your Mobile Phone

Before you join any protest, you should consider deleting some sensitive information stored in your mobile phone, including but not limited to your past communication records, some contact information, emails, photos or video. As an alternative, you can purchase a second phone strictly for use during protests, free of any sensitive information.

You also should set a password for your phone or app to avoid being viewed or used when the mobile phone is in the possession of others.

The Basic Law

Article 30

The freedom and privacy of communication of Hong Kong residents shall be protected by law. No department or individual may, on any grounds, infringe upon the freedom and privacy of communication of residents except that the relevant authorities may inspect communication in accordance with legal procedures to meet the needs of public security or of investigation into criminal offences.


B. Equip Your Mobile Phone

Before you participate in any protest, you should make sure you have an extra battery for your mobile phone, activate the function in the mobile to destroy data in a distance and install some useful apps. We recommend the following:-

Using encrypted email service

Currently, there are some email service providers allowing emails to be encrypted by PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) technology. Before the email is sent, the email will be encrypted. It will only be decrypted after it is delivered to the designated account. This can prevent the content being viewed before you open it or during the process of delivery. Some encrypted email providers are, Hushmail (and coming soon) ProtonMail and StartMail.

Using encrypted end-to-end instant communication

Most Hong Kongers are using unencrypted instant communication apps, such as, Whatsapp, Line and/or WeChat. These apps deliver messages through a server which may store the content of the messages. It greatly enhances the chances of data being hacked or leaked. Therefore, we recommend some end-to-end encrypted instant messaging apps, for example, Telegram, Threema or Wickr. You may encode your Wickr before you start using it and set a self-destructing timer for your messages.

If you need to make a phone call, we advise you to use RedPhone (Android) or Signal (iPhone).

Notwithstanding of the foregoings, we must remind you that the data relating to the phone may still store the log recording, communications and/or the activities that you have used with a specific app.

Using an streaming photo or video recording service

If you are using your mobile phone to take pictures or record video, we recommend you use instant streaming photo-taking apps and video apps to upload the photos or video immediately to avoid your photos or video being deleted when your mobile phone is not in your possession. Photo apps such as Instagram or Tumblr will do a good job. If you would like to record, stream and instantly upload videos, you may try Ustream. You may find the guide on how to use Ustream here: http://www.ustream.tv/blog/2013/11/06/live-on-the-go-how-to-ustream-from-your-smartphone-or-tablet/


Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance Article 14

Protection of privacy, family, home, correspondence, honour and reputation

(1) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

[cf. ICCPR Art. 17]


C. Using your mobile phone is your right

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance all have set out our rights to freedom of communication and communicating in privacy.

In public or during a protest, if you are stopped and/or questioned by an officer, you have the right to use your mobile phone to contact others, take photos and/or record video. In a private premises, the owner may set rules for taking photos or ban taking photos.

If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent, including not to answer any questions in relation to your mobile phone. If you are requested to provide your password to access the content of your mobile phone, you should contact a lawyer. In case you are unable to contact a lawyer because your mobile phone is confiscated by an officer, please remember the badge number of the officer, the time and what happened to facilitate you to file a complaint later. The case law in Hong Kong dictates that if a person is denied legal service due to the fact that his mobile phone is confiscated by an officer, it is a strong indication that the officer is in breach of the 1992 Rules and Directions for the Questioning of Suspects and the Taking of Statements.


D. Abuse & Complaints

If you have any complaints against the behaviour of the police at any time, you should remember the officers badge number, location, time and details to report the incident to the duty officer at the police station. You should also file a complaint to the Complaints Against Police Reporting Centre and seek independent legal advice as soon as possible. Should you be not satisfied with the result of the Complaints Against Police Reporting Centre, you may appeal its decision within 30 days.

Complaints Against Police Reporting Centre

Address: G/F, Annex Block, Caine House, No.3 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (adjacent to Central Police Station)

Complaint Hotline: 2866 7700

Fax: 2200 4460, 2200 4461, 2200 4462

Office Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30 am to 6:30 pm; Sat, Sun & Public Holiday closed

Homepage: http://www.police.gov.hk/ppp_en/11_useful_info/cap.html

Complaint E-form: https://secure1.info.gov.hk/police/eforms/complaint_against_police_en.htm

Law firms with specialty in criminal laws:


Law firms in Hong Kong:


The Duty Lawyers Tel-law Scheme: 2521 3333, 2522 8018


About Keyboard Frontline

Keyboard Frontline, a non-profit making NGO, was founded in the year of 2011 to fight for greater user rights under the 2012 Copyright amendment bill (also known as the Internet Article 23) for netizens. Believing that the rights of netizens are of vital importance, Keyboard Frontline devotes its time and effort in the defense of these rights. By organising varies activities, for example, protests, exhibitions, discussion forums, online lobbying, etc., we aim to arouse public awareness of the importance of internet freedom, and ultimately to create a free and open internet environment in Hong Kong.

Currently, Keyboard Frontline is focusing on various projects, including internet freedom, privacy and security, “Right to be Forgotten” and, of course, the 2014 Copyright Amendment Bill. We will undoubtedly continue to devote ourselves to safeguard the rights of the netizens in Hong Kong.





Hong Kong Civil Liberties Union (“HKCLU“) is formed by a group of volunteers from the legal profession in Hong Kong. We pledge to defend and safeguard the civil rights and liberties of every individual. We aim at providing free legal assistance to the community and fellow non- governmental and non profit-making organisations on the issues of civil rights, with the ultimate goal of achieving equality and diversity in Hong Kong.

Our Missions

HKCLU is dedicated to defending and promoting the individual rights and liberties. These rights include:

  1. The right of due process
  2. Equality before law
  3. Privacy and freedom
  4. Citizen’s responsibilities





The information in this handbook is for preliminary reference only and should NOT be considered as legal advice. HKCLU and Keyboard Frontline do not invite reliance upon, or accept responsibility for the information HKCLU and Keyboard Frontline provide. Any uses to which that information is put, or any actions taken in consequence of the use of HKCLU and Keyboard Frontline is the sole responsibility of the users. The contents of HKCLU and Keyboard Frontline are provided as an information guide only and the information is provided on an “as is” basis. HKCLU and Keyboard Frontline do not give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided in this handbook. Users should confirm information from another source if it is of sufficient importance for them to do so. Any material obtained through the use of this handbook is done at the discretion and risk of users and users will be solely responsible for any damage to their computer system or loss of data that results from the downloading of any such material.

You should consult your own lawyer if you want to obtain further information or legal assistance concerning any specific legal matter.


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