A group of police officers raided a Hong Kong activist, Yang Yang’s (screen name) home and took away his computer, server and cell phone. According to the police, he was under the allegation of Denial of Service (DOS) attack against two government websites earlier last month. However, Yang has denied the allegation, saying that he would never use his own computer for hacking activity.
Yang Yang has been very active in Hong Kong social movement circle and his computer has many contact information of local Hong Kong and mainland Chinese human rights activists. He is also involved in the upcoming election campaign of an oppositional political group, People’s Power.
The police searched his apartment at 7am on July 13, 2012 with a search warrant issued by the court and arrested him under the charge of crimes ordinance, chapter 200 section 161: access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent. The maximum penalty of the charge is up to 5-year imprisonment.
The police said that Yang’s computer had attacked two government websites for 17 seconds last month.
Upon giving his statement in the police station, Yang is now on bail. In a video interview at Facebook, Yang denied the allegation: “as a internet expert, I would never do such kind of silly attack. Using my own computer at home? This is a joke. Even if I really did the hacking, they could never find out.”
The main effect of the police raid is the leakage of information and communication with local Hong Kong and mainland Chinese human rights activists as Yang Yang is providing technical support to a network of cross-border activists.
About a month ago, Yang Yang’s colleague, Yang Kang’s apartment had also been raided by police without any search warrant. Yang Kang is also active in connecting mainland human rights activists with their Hong Kong counterparts. Hence Yang Yang suspected that the police is just creating an excuse to confiscate his computer.