Video shows Hong Kong protesters using lasers to disrupt government facial-recognition cameras

Now TVProtesters in Hong Kong point lasers at cameras and police officers on July 21.
  • A video shows Hong Kong protesters shining lasers into facial-recognition cameras in an apparent attempt to blind them.
  • The video, broadcast by Hong Kong’s Now TV, shows people shining laser pens at cameras, Hong Kong police officers, and government buildings.
  • Protesters have sought to remain anonymous by spray-painting and shining lasers at cameras inside the Chinese government office in Hong Kong, The New York Times reported.
  • The concentrated light emitted by lasers can heat up and damage sensitive surfaces like camera sensors, the International Laser Display Association says.
  • The protests, which started in early June over the territory’s relationship with mainland China, have raged for weeks and show no sign of easing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A video from the ongoing Hong Kong protests shows demonstrators shining lasers at police facial-recognition cameras in an apparent attempt to blind them.

More than 1 million people have demonstrated in Hong Kong’s streets since early June against a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong to extradite citizens to mainland China.

The bill’s progress has stalled, but the protest movement has ballooned into a wider fight to preserve the autonomy of the region.

The video, broadcast by Hong Kong’s Now TV and shared on social media, shows people pointing laser pens at cameras, Hong Kong police officers, and government buildings.

Shining a laser pen into a camera can disrupt its view and cause longer-term damage to its electronics.

On July 21, protesters were seen spray-painting security cameras and using lasers to blind facial-recognition cameras outside the Chinese government office in Hong Kong, according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, a channel on the encrypted-messaging app Telegram called Dadfindboy with 50,000 members is seeking to combat police efforts to identify protesters by identifying the officers and publishing information, often personal or sensitive, about them, The Times said.

Hong Kong Police ForceNow TVProtesters pointing lasers at police officers.

The International Laser Display Association says that “lasers emit concentrated beams of light, which can heat up sensitive surfaces” – like camera sensors – “and cause damage.”

During skirmishes with Hong Kong police officers, protesters have also deployed other simple and ingenious measures to fight back, including giving out a sodium-chloride solution to soothe eyes burned by pepper spray.

Umbrellas, famously the symbol of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2014, have been used as makeshift shields against tear gas.

Protesters have also been seen pouncing on tear-gas canisters and dousing them with water before they can spread dangerous fumes.


Read more:
Video of China’s military practicing riot drills with tanks in Hong Kong bears similarities to army response to the infamous Tiananmen Square protests

On Monday, the Chinese government agency responsible for managing Hong Kong said that “should the chaos continue, it is the entire Hong Kong that will suffer.”

Video Hong Kong laserNow TVA still from a video showing Hong Kong protesters pointing lasers at security cameras inside the Chinese government’s liaison office.


Read more:
Hong Kong police officer makes a grave safety error waving a shotgun in protesters’ faces

The volley of lasers recalls images from July 2013 of Egyptian protesters firing lasers at military helicopters to confuse them.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.