The grassroots New Macau Association (NMA), which has three directly-elected lawmakers, Tuesday urged the government to find out whether local residents and groups have been targeted by the US government’s massive Internet hacking and telephone tapping scheme leaked by fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong earlier this month.
According to The Macau Post Daily, NMA President Jason Chao Teng Hei made the appeal to the media after a meeting with Telecommunications Regulation Bureau (DSRT) Director Lawrence Tou Veng Keong in the premises of the bureau.
The meeting requested by the association in which members including Chao and lawmaker Paul Chan Wai Chi expressed their views on several issues of public concern which, among others, also included the aftermath of a controversial ruling by the Court of Second Instance (TSI) earlier this month that the city’s communal antenna service providers have to stop their “illegal” TV signal transmissions within 90 days.
Chao said that during the meeting the NAM representatives also requested Tou to send a formal request to the US authorities to ask whether any local individuals or associations have been subject to Washington’s Internet and telephone surveillance programme.
“Hong Kong already did that… thus we demand the [local] government to do it as well. However, Tou told us that such an action was not within the scope of his authority,” Chao said, pointing out that Tou did not promise to pass on the group’s appeal to his superiors – Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io and Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.
“Thus we will express our appeal to the chief executive soon,” Chao was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying, adding that Chui should take the opportunity to pass on the general public’s concerns to the US consul-general accredited in Hong Kong and Macau during a local reception to mark the United States’ Independence Day in Macau next Wednesday, which Chui is slated to attend as guest of honour.
Chao also said that a group of activists planned to demonstrate outside the venue where the US Independence Day celebrations will be held to protest Washington’s snooping programme and the US authorities’ attempts to capture Snowden.(macaunews)