For Hong Kong protesters, masks shield against Big Brother

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A masked protester sits near graffiti during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that protest

A masked protester sits near graffiti during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that protest

Protesters hide behind umbrellas as they form a barricade to block a road in Hong Kong on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Thousands of protesters in masks are s

Protesters hide behind umbrellas as they form a barricade to block a road in Hong Kong on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Thousands of protesters in masks are s

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a press conference in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Lam has banned protesters from wearing masks to con

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a press conference in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Lam has banned protesters from wearing masks to con

A protester wears a gas mask and holds up his hand to represent the protester's five demands in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Hong Kong pro-democrac

A protester wears a gas mask and holds up his hand to represent the protester's five demands in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Hong Kong pro-democrac

Pro-democracy protesters march in the city center ahead of the city's embattled leader to deploy emergency powers to ban people from wearing masks in

Pro-democracy protesters march in the city center ahead of the city's embattled leader to deploy emergency powers to ban people from wearing masks in

A pro-democracy protester marches in the city center ahead of reported plans by the city's embattled leader to deploy emergency powers to ban people f

A pro-democracy protester marches in the city center ahead of reported plans by the city's embattled leader to deploy emergency powers to ban people f

HONG KONG (AP) — The now-banned masks Hong Kong protesters use to conceal their identities are a consequence of living in the shadow of Big Brother.

Across the border that separates Hong Kong from the rest of China, high-tech surveillance is ubiquitous, with facial recognition, forests of cameras, and other privacy-penetrating tools.

Becoming a tightly controlled city like all the others in China, its special freedoms extinguished, is the future that protesters say they're fighting to avoid for Hong Kong.

Many of them have turned to using code words when messaging each about when and where they'll next meet. Instead of "protest," they'll write "shopping" or "dreaming" to disguise their intentions.