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As censorship wanes, cyberattacks rise in Burma

(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Shawn W. Crispin/CPJ Southeast Asia Representative

Cyberattacks on news websites and apparent government hacking into journalists' email accounts have raised new questions about the integrity of media reforms in Burma. The New York Times reported on Sunday that several journalists who regularly cover Burma-related news recently received warning messages from Google that their email accounts may have been hacked by "state-sponsored attackers."

Burma-based Associated Press reporter Aye Aye Win and Thailand-based Swedish reporter Bertil Lintner both recently received the Google warnings, according to the New York Times report. Irrawaddy reporter Saw Yan Naing and Weekly Eleven News Journal Executive Editor Nay Htun Naing told CPJ that they, too, had recently been warned by Google that their accounts may have been compromised.

All of the journalists have reported on the armed conflict between ethnic guerillas and government forces in the country's northern Kachin state, despite official attempts to bar reporting from the area. Weekly Eleven was the first local publication to report in late December that government forces had used air power against rebel positions - news that sparked international condemnation of the conflict's escalation.

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What other IFEX members are saying
  • Naypyitaw denies journalist hacking allegations

    On 11 February 2013, the Myanmar government denied that it attempted to hack into the e-mail accounts of journalists who reported receiving warnings from Google that they may have been the targets of "state-sponsored attackers."

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