Home » Hong Kong court upholds real-name registration requirement for SIM cards users

Hong Kong court upholds real-name registration requirement for SIM cards users

by Derek Andrews
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The Hong Kong Court docket of First Occasion dismissed an utility for judicial evaluation on Friday to problem the real-name registration regime for SIM card customers. The court docket held that the regime will not be “unreasonable” and warrants no interference from the court docket.

The Telecommunications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulation requires licensed telecommunications corporations to file their prospects’ id card numbers, full identify in English and date of beginning earlier than they activate a SIM card. Part 7 of the regulation dictates that an individual can solely maintain 10 pre-paid SIM playing cards for themselves and 25 pre-paid SIM playing cards on behalf of registered companies. The regulation has been in effect since March 2022.

Justifying the need of the real-name registration regime, the federal government stated that the nameless nature of pre-paid SIM playing cards will increase the problem for regulation enforcement businesses in tracing and figuring out suspects. The federal government claimed that pre-paid SIM playing cards, subsequently, facilitate unlawful actions, similar to phone deception and e-shopping scams. The federal government additionally claimed that nameless pre-paid SIM playing cards had been deployed in planning and committing critical, organized crimes similar to human smuggling, do-it-yourself bombs and terrorist actions.

The applicant argued that the federal government didn’t strike the proper steadiness between the rights to privateness and anonymity of cell system customers and the prevention, detection and investigation of crimes. The applicant highlighted that the lack of anonymity could hinder and deter the reporting and prevention of crimes. Lastly, the applicant emphasised the danger of private information breaches and, subsequently, the obstacle to the proper to privateness posed by the regime.

Decide Coleman concluded that the federal government had already thought-about these elements earlier than the implementation. Decide Coleman dominated that, in the end, enacting rules entails a balancing train that’s finest left to the legislature. The court docket solely intervenes in a authorities’s determination when the train has been carried out in a method that’s clearly “unreasonable.”

The court docket used the authorized normal of “Wednesbury unreasonableness,” which is a authorized normal developed by the court docket to scrutinize choices made by public our bodies. The court docket assesses the relevance of things thought-about by the general public physique within the decision-making course of. If the court docket finds that no affordable particular person may have made the choice, the court docket will discover it “Wednesbury unreasonable” and nullify the act.

A subscriber identification module (SIM) card permits subscribers to make use of their cell gadgets to obtain calls and connect with cell web providers. It additionally identifies and authenticates a subscriber for the subscriber’s entry to a telecommunications service.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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