The role of 21st centry technology in protests

Cheuk Ting Ho



About me

Co-organizer of 

Open Source contribution

Creator of

Volenteer of

When it all begins...

Extradition Law

  • easier to send Hong Kong residents to mainland China to stand trial
  • undermine Hong Kongers’ legal protections

June 9: 1M Hong Kong citizens participate in a largely peaceful march

June 16: 2M citizens marching again in a peaceful protest

June 24: crowdfunding campaign to place advertisements in major international newspapers duing G-20 summit

July 1: hundreds of thousands of citizens take part in an annual pro-democracy march.

Meanwhile, another group storms the legislative building.

People have spoken,

but how does the government react?

Police Brutality

Aug. 11: beanbag round hits and ruptures a young woman’s eye

Oct. 1: first protester shot

Most people believe violence is not a solution...

What shall we do?

Technology War

Have you got the following apps in you phone:

Online activism

  • Political message cannot pass through the Great Firewall of China
  • Pass messages (in picture formats) via airdrop
  • Put political messages in profiles
  • Works better if your pictures are attractive... I guess
  • Will you swipe right?

Online activism

  • Since the protest is 'decentralized', most discussions starts on a popular HK online forum - LiHKG
  • It is mainly in Cantonese, it may be difficult for people who don't speak the language
  • Some popular posts got translated and repost on Reddit 

Secure communication

  • Messages encrypted option
  • Massive group chat
  • Choose to not disclose phone number - easier to cover identity
  • Streaming of the protest
  • Recording the 'truth'
  • Counteract the censored media in HK

Secure communication

  • Internet with Bluetooth
  • Links together users' devices allowing people to chat with others by hopping on other users' phones until the message reaches the intended person
  • Useful when the signal is bad, in crowded places, or if the government shut down network

Aid in protests

  • Volunteer drivers help drive protesters to safety after protest
  • However, police also disguised as drivers to arrest protesters
  • Some protests are dimed illegal assembly
  • Protesters claims to show up for a game of Pokemon Go 

New apps


  • Suggestions for restaurants which support protesters
  • Suggestions for 'weekend activities'
  • VR simulated game that puts you on the frontline of the ongoing conflict
  • Help spread awareness of the protests and assist users in empathizing with protestors

New apps

An app that 'auto clicks', it uses the PPS system in HK to pay tax $ by $. Each transaction with PPS cost the government $2.

To NOT use technology

  • Covering your technology footprint is as important as covering your face
  • Buying single journey tickets rather than using metro cards
  • Cover smart ID cards with aluminium foil
  • Use burner phones

Big brother is still watching...

China’s all-seeing surveillance system

China's Social Credit System

It affects it's citizens:

  • Travel Ban
  • Exclusion from school admissions
  • Social status
  • Debt collection
  • Public display

and it is not a perfect system

Businesswoman had her image flashed up on a public display screen with a caption saying she had illegally crossed the street on a red light.

they monitor kids at school 

 Headwear measures electric signals from neurons in the brain and translates that into an attention score using an algorithm.

what if it's at your doorstep

Protesters fear these “smart lampposts” may have surveillance and facial-recognition capabilities.

the fear is real.

Communist Party’s fourth plenary session calls on HK to prioritise the central government’s authority and boost efforts to safeguard national security

Uighur detainees listening to a “deradicalization” presentation at a reeducation camp,

Literacy is power

In the old days, only the rich and powerful are literate, they control the knowledge and the society

What does it mean in the 21st centry

Are we AI/ Tech literate enough?

If only the rich and powerful have access to technology, they have more control over us

To ensure tech literacy:

  • Internet freedom:
    freedom of speech
  • Critical thinking:
    about the information on the internet
  • Open-source:
    freedom of knowledge and technology knowhow
  • Python:
    enhance coding literacy

What can you do to protect our future?