|National Security Department|
|Formed||1 July 2020|
|Operations jurisdiction||Hong Kong|
|Overviewed by||Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region|
|Parent agency||Hong Kong Police Force|
National Security Department is a department of the Hong Kong Police Force established on 1 July 2020 under Hong Kong national security law to "safeguard" the national security of China. Responsible for arresting pro-democracy politicians in the city, the National Security Department is regarded as the security police after the Hong Kong Special Branch was disbanded in 1995.
With a structure similar to the Special Branch, the National Security Department is led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. The department may recruit professionals from outside Hong Kong "to provide assistance in the performance of duties for safeguarding national security". Besides, the department shall work with Office for Safeguarding National Security of the CPG in the HKSAR and is supervised by Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
According to Article 17 of the NSL, the duties and functions of the department shall be:
According to Article 43 of the NSL, the department is allowed to take the following actions:
The National Security Department is given unprecedented power of bypassing Interception of Communications and Surveillance Ordinance to intercept communication of and monitor anyone suspected of endangering the national security. Warrants from courts are no longer needed for the department to search any premises with possible criminal evidence. Furthermore, the department is responsible for vetting candidates for elections after the election change imposed by the Chinese Government.
The National Security Department has accused and arrested dissenting voices in Hong Kong for "endangering" the national security, including pro-democracy politicians and protestors. Some websites were also reportedly banned by the department, including Hong Kong Watch.
Police in the department had to be vetted to review the allegiance and loyalty to China, non-disclosure agreements are signed also.
Senior police of the department has been sanctioned by the United States, including Edwina Lau, Frederic Choi, for their role in enforcing the NSL.