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Facebook and WhatsApp won't give Hong Kong authorities user data for no

Facebook and its messaging service WhatsApp will stop processing requests for user data made by Hong Kong law enforcement authorities while they carry out an assessment of a controversial security law imposed by China on the city.

The social media platforms said in statements Monday that they would “pause” the review of information requests from the Hong Kong government “pending further assessment of the impact of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with human rights experts.”Facebook (FB) said the company believes “freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions.”

Twitter (TWTR) confirmed to CNN Business that it has also paused all requests from Hong Kong authorities for data and information while it reviews the law.”Like many public interest organizations, civil society leaders and entities, and industry peers, we have grave concerns regarding both the developing process and the full intention of this law,” the spokesperson said.

The law imposed last week by Beijing criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers, a sweeping change that critics describe as an attack on freedoms of speech and the press that have long existed in Hong Kong but are prohibited on the Chinese mainland.

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