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Eight arrested for suspected Hong Kong police data breaches
[HONG KONG] Hong Kong police on Wednesday announced the arrest of eight people suspected of disclosing officers' private information online and making threats against them.
It was not immediately clear if the arrests were related to ongoing protests in the former British colony against a proposed extradition bill, but police have been a target of criticism after using rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and tear gas last month to try to disperse crowds.
Police Superintendent Swalikh Mohammed of the technology crime division told a news conference the six men and two women arrested were suspected of disclosing names, ID card numbers and birth dates of family members.
Investigators also detected an attempt to hack the police website but he said it failed.
The online crimes "affected a large number of officers, resulting not only to nuisance but threats", he said.
"The operation is ongoing and we may actually arrest more people in the near future."
According to Hong Kong's RTHK news, hundreds of complaints have been made to the Privacy Commissioner after the details of some police officers were posted online last month.
On June 26, police announced they found a website "disclosing the personal data of police officers suspectedly obtained by unlawful means".
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that allows it freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom to protest and an independent judiciary. Monday was the 22nd anniversary.