Protesters in Hong Kong appear to be keenly aware of the Chinese mainland's all-pervading Orwellian surveillance system and facial recognition software, and they are already taking action to thwart such systems installed in Hong Kong.
The UK Independent reports based on a viral video posted by a freelance journalist this week:
Protesters in Hong Kong are using lasers to blind security forces and avoid facial recognition cameras used by authorities.
Hong Kong protestors are on another level. Here they’re using lasers to avoid facial recognition cameras. A cyber war against Chinese artificial intelligence. pic.twitter.com/t1hIczr5Go— Alessandra (@alessabocchi) July 31, 2019
It's the latest in an array of technological tricks anti-Beijing protesters have used to stay a step ahead of local police as they increasingly resort to harsh riot control tactics to break up masses in the streets, including using virtual private networks on phones to conceal identity, and encrypted messaging services like Telegram.
The original video had been broadcast by Hong Kong's Now TV before going viral on social media and shows protesters distorting the view of street security cameras.
In some instances lasers are capable of permanently a damaging surveillance camera's optics and electronics.
The video, which has been viewed millions of times, also includes scenes of people pointing their laser pens in Hong Kong police officers' faces.
This comes just as on Wednesday the chief of the Chinese Army's Hong Kong garrison said his forces stand ready to "protect" Chinese sovereignty and condemned reported vandal attacks of government property and buildings in the semi-autonomous city.
PLA commander Chen Daoxiang said, “The incidents have seriously threatened the life and safety of Hong Kong citizens, and violated the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’,” according to the South China Morning Post. He concluded, “This should not be tolerated and we express our strong condemnation.”