The Public Opinion Programme (POP) was established in June 1991 to collect and study public opinion on topics that could be of interest to academics, journalists, policy-makers, and the general public. POP was at first under the Social Sciences Research Centre, a unit under the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Hong Kong, and was transferred to the Journalism and Media Studies Centre in the University of Hong Kong in May 2000. In January 2002, it was transferred back to the Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Hong Kong. Since its establishment, POP has been conducting opinion researches on various social and political issues and providing quality survey services to a wide range of organizations provided that they agreed to publicizing the findings to the general public, as well as allowing the research team to design and conduct the research independently, and to reserve the right to release the findings for public consumption.
In June 2003, Civic Exchange sponsored the Concern Group on Article 23 of the Basic Law to commission the POP Team to conduct a survey on Hong Kong's people opinion towards the legislation of Article 23 under the Basic Law. The main areas of the investigation were:
Notwithstanding the client's position towards the subject matter, the POP Team was given full autonomy in designing and conducting this study. The questionnaire was designed in consultation with the client, but the entire study was conducted by the Team independently without any interference from the client, which might impede the impartiality of the survey in any way.