- A video shows Hong Kong protesters firing lasers into facial recognition cameras in an apparent attempt to blind them.
- Video broadcast by Hong Kong’s Now TV 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 over cameras inside the government liaison office, The New York Times reported.
- Lasers emit concentrated beams of light which heat up and damage sensitive surfaces like camera sensors, the International Laser Display Association says.
- Protests which started in early June over the territory’s relationship with mainland China have raged for weeks, and show no sign of easing.
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A video from the ongoing Hong Kong protests shows demonstrators firing lasers at police facial recognition cameras, an apparent attempt to stop them working.
More than one million people have demonstrated in Hong Kong’s streets since early June, rallying against a proposed law that would allow China to extradite Hong Kong citizens to the mainland.
The bill’s progress has stalled, but the protest movement has ballooned into a wider fight to preserve the autonomy of the region.
This video, broadcast by Hong Kong’s Now TV and shared on social media, shows protesters firing laser pens at cameras, Hong Kong Police Force officers, and government buildings.
Shining a laser pen into a camera can disrupt its view in the moment, and potentially cause longer-term damage by disrupting its electronics.
On July 21, protesters were seen spray-painting security cameras and using lasers to blind facial recognition cameras outside the government liaison office, according to The New York Times.
A group called Dadfindboy used the encrypted messaging app Telegram to tell its 50,000 members how to combat police efforts to identify them, including how to avoid facial recognition, the Times said.
Lasers emit concentrated beams of light, which can heat up sensitive surfaces like camera sensors and damage them, according to the International Laser Display Association (ILDA).
During skirmishes with Hong Kong police, 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 democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2014 — have also been used as make-shift shields against tear gas.
Protesters have also been seen pouncing on tear gas canisters, and dousing them with water before they could spread the dangerous fumes.
On Monday, the Chinese government agency responsible for managing Hong Kong said: "Should the chaos continue, it is the entire Hong Kong that will suffer."
The volley of lasers recalls images from July 2013, of Egyptian protesters firing lasers at military helicopters to confuse them.
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