SCMP Singer-actor Edison Chen Koon-hei made a public apology yesterday to anyone affected by the distribution on the internet of nude pictures purported to show him and female celebrities and called on anyone who had copies to destroy them.
His video statement was released to the media last night as observers were predicting that complaints about indecent photographs on the internet would rise further because of what is being dubbed the "Edison Chen incident". The lives of many innocent people have been affected by this malicious and criminal conduct. And in this regard, I'm filled with pain, hurt and frustration.
I now call upon anyone to help and assist the victims of this case. If you've ever downloaded any of these images, please do not forward them to anyone. Please do not send them to anyone. If you are still in possession of these images, I urge you to please destroy them immediately. Let's help the wounded heal their wounds.
I urge you to help the victims and not make it any worse. He would not say if more than one man appeared. Someone had sent his computer for repair and the pictures [stored inside] were stolen without the consent of the owner.
Four of the six women involved were publicly recognisable. Police would contact everyone who appeared in the photos but they would not necessarily have to testify in court.
I do not see the need for them to come to court," Mr Wong said. Mr Wong rejected suggestions of selective police enforcement in the case, saying there was evidence that all except the suspected source had distributed the photos. He also denied that the force had allocated extra manpower to investigate this case due to the involvement of celebrities. While keeping such photographs and sending them to friends was not an offence, Mr Wong said, it was illegal for anyone to upload such photos onto the Web, as cyberspace was the public domain.
It is illegal to have a lot of these pictures, as they might be used for publishing or selling. What is a lot? I don't think it is a matter of numbers, but we also have to look at whether the number is reasonable. Tang did not come out to repudiate his own statements, but his underling Wong was sent out to put out the fire instead.
And now for a famous saying of the day: The Standard Assistant Commissioner of Police Crime Vincent Wong Fook-chuen urged anyone whose nude pictures had been posted on the internet to report to the police. Twenty years ago, the Internet as such did not exist and there was nothing to see. Today, the Internet is everywhere and it is hard to imagine that the Hong Kong police is unaware of nude photos on the Internet.
A new website specifically directed against the Hong Kong police has more than photographs of nude artistes. SCMP At least six new nude photos purported to be of celebrities - including a new face - spread like viruses across the city last night, a day after police said they had traced the source of the spate of scandalous pictures that have appeared on the internet in recent days. The pictures, sent through e-mails and internet messaging systems, were seen as a challenge to police, who said on Monday putting obscene photos on the internet, a public domain, was an offence but sending them to friends was not.
The new photos included three graphic images purportedly of Gillian Chung Yan-tung of girl duo Twins, actress Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi and former actress Bobo Chan Man-woon - all of whom have been rumoured to be romantically linked to singer-actor Edison Chen Koon-hei. Another photograph was of a woman who could not be identified. All the pictures included a man whose face was not revealed. Also included were two solo shots of a partially-dressed woman who looked like former singer Chiu Chung-yue, whose photographs had not been circulated previously.
Apple Daily and Oriental Daily characterized this action as the shaving of the eyebrow of the police, while The Sun said that it was a slap in the face. One proposed model for future distribution of the photographs is for people to signal an offer and then require an email address to send to. If photographs are sent to an email address, then this can be taken to be a friendly gesture to another person who has just reciprocated on an offer of friendship.
In this case, the breaking news story was the emergence of hundreds of photographs from the Edison Chen collection. Previously, over the course of the past nine days, around twenty photographs of Gillian Chung, Bobo Chan and Cecilia Cheung were posted onto the Internet and then circulated broadly around the world.
Then the police announced that they had nailed the source of the photographs namely, the worker at the computer shop where Edison Chen took his pink Apple Powerbook for repair as well as his six friends who actually uploaded those photographs onto the Internet.
For a couple of days, no more photographs appeared. Then yesterday another six appeared. So someone else out there still has some unpublished photographs. But how many more are forthcoming? Everybody assumed that the killing would stop. Then beginning midnight, compressed archived files containing photographs were suddenly being routed around in email as well as peer-to-peer sharing services such as Foxy. These alternate methods were used because the Hong Kong discussion forums will no longer post information about those photographs due to legal concerns.
After a while, unknown persons posted the photographs at overseas pornographic websites and published the links at overseas Chinese-language forums. These overseas websites are beyond the reach of the Hong Kong police.
What was in this latest batch? The quantity and quality of the photographs were incredibly damaging. There are also photographs of three more entertainers Candice Chan, Rachel Ngan, Mandy Chan who were hardly known to the general public before this but are now household names. Their names are probably now among the top ten most popular search engine terms. That turned out not to be true. For the tenth day in a row, the Edison Chen photographs were featured on the front page of the major Hong Kong newspapers: Here are the major Hong Kong newspaper front pages.
More femaile stars in pornographic photos Lusty photos spread across globe Hong Kong police helpless Bedroom photos seen around the globe Police helpless Apple Daily via DWnews When the new batch of photographs appeared yesterday, there were three folders containing photographs of females identified only as Unknown 1, Unknown 2 and Unknown 3.
These three minor starlets suddenly became objects of interest. When Cathy Leung was contacted, she said that she had never met Edison Chen in her life and there was no reason to disbelieve a definitive statement like that. Further investigation pointed that the person was really Mandy Chan, a former Miss Chinese contestant. Reporters have so far tracked down Mandy Chan as having married, immigrated to Brisbane Australia and is running a beauty salon.
Where did the information come from? The Sun According to the Hong Kong police, the photographs have spread across computer servers all over the world, thus making this a "globalized" affair. There does not appear to be anything that the Hong Kong police can do. Meanwhile, netizens are boasting that they will continue to distribute more bedroom photographs and hyperilnks to "friends. Because the activity of posting pornography at these specialized websites is not against local laws.
In fact, these websites exist precisely in order to distribute pornography. As such, the Hong Kong police cannot request the FBI or other local law enforcement agencies to take action solely on the basis of distribution of pornographic materials in Hong Kong. Instead, they would need other causes such as the photographs being purloined.
But they do not have any other probable cause at this time. If there is such a thing as a ring of overseas websites for Chinese political dissidence, why shouldn't there be a ring of overseas websites for Chinese pornography? But the story is not so straightforward, because of "one country, two systems.
In mainland China, political dissidence is very much out of bounds. However, the Edison Chen photographs are posted in full at major Chinese website portals note: I won't provide a link here but I must say that I was truly astonished when I reached one such photo album at NetEase. And it was not a netizen posting it without the knowledge of the forum master, because it was a catalogued sub-directory created solely for these photographs.
So how is this "one country, two systems" thing going to work? What will happen in when the two systems are supposed to have converged? Here is the translation of the section about the HK Golden Forum: While the other large discussion forums such as Uwants and Discuss. Everything else goes including hyperlinks. As a result, large numbers of curious netizens rushed over to HK Golden Forum to find the latest news and photographs. HK Golden is organized into Forum1 and Forum2 for administrative reasons.
During this period, there was a time when Forum 1 and Forum 2 had more than , and , users at the same time. This caused massive jams, delays and crashes. In order to alleviate the server loads, the HK Golden resident netizens began to use creative approaches to reduce traffic. For example, there was a rash of June 4th related posts around the time, because the posters thought that this could cause HK Golden Forum to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China. On the afternoon of January 31, , certain HK Golden members predicted the website will shut down due to traffic overload.
On that evening, the 'lights went out' at Forum 1. Forums 2 and 3 struggle on with occasional freezes. The activities include raising money for advertisements and demonstration marches. The main purpose is to protest the double standards in police actions, oppose the injustice of the judiciary and express dissatisfaction with the entertainment artistes. This affair is like the Article 23 episode. The incident itself was just a trigger that released the repressed discontent of the netizens.
At the smaller HK Galden Forum, visitors are now required to register. But the registration form includes the following option at the bottom: While this is still the top story in the major Chinese-language newspapers in Hong Kong for lack of a better story, the foci have diverged.
The lead story in Apple Daily was that Edison Chen had taken his laptop computer to more than one computer shop for repairs. Workers at the second computer shop also discovered the folder of photographs and gathered around to gawk at the female celebrities. It is likely that another copy of the photographs was made by someone at this second computer shop.