9 April 2015 / By EBU
The President of the EBU says hackers who seized control of EBU approved participant TV5 Monde for three hours this week are guilty of a gross violation of freedom of expression.
Jean-Paul Philippot condemned the cyber-attack in the strongest terms. “Hacking into the output in this way threatens the values of freedom of expression and a pluralistic media which help form the basis of public service broadcasting, a system built on diversity and a considered interpretation of the world and its values.”
TV5 Monde says it was taken over by activists calling themselves “Cybercaliphate” and claiming association with the group calling itself Islamic State. 11 channels were simultaneously taken off air for three hours from 10pm on Wednesday (8/4) night.
The broadcaster’s social media pages were either inaccessible or had threats to French troops involved in anti-ISIS operations posted on them along with the personal details of their relatives. Posts referred to the bloody attacks at Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris in January as “gifts” for France’s involvement in a US-led military coalition carrying out air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Jean-Paul Philippot urged all EBU members to take the threat from hacking operations seriously. The French government has called a meeting of all major media outlets to assess their vulnerability.