PBS website hacked over Frontline episode
For a brief time on May 30, Tupac Shakur lived.
Well, a story posted on the Public Broadcasting System website early Monday morning claimed he was still alive.
The false story, which explained that the famous rapper hadn’t actually died in 1996 and was living in New Zealand, was one of the pranks pulled on the news organization by a group of hackers.
Lulzsec, an anonymous hacking group, claimed responsibility for the Memorial Day weekend hacking spree. The cyber assault on the website was triggered by the hackers’ disappointment in PBS Frontline’s May 24 “WikiSecrets” episode about whistleblower Bradley Manning that broadcast last week.
The Lulzsec Twitter account includes a May 31 tweet to the WikiLeaks account that says, “@WikiLeaks We hope our hacking gave Bradley Manning a smile. That man deserves something nice.”
In addition to the fake story on Shakur, e-mail addresses and passwords for PBS affiliates, bloggers and third-party media outlets and reporters who signed up for access to PBS clips and photos were also released by the hackers.
They also added a calling card on the website at pbs.org/lulz/ that read “All your base are belong to Lulzsec.”
PBS Frontline released a statement in which the show’s executive producer, David Fanning, called the cyber attack “irresponsible and chilling” and said it was “an attempt to chill independent journalism.”
Australian Broadcasting Corp. FOI controversy
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) has refused to release information on its audience data and employee salaries to The Weekend Australian and the Herald Sun, two Australian newspapers.
The ABC is using a programming exemption for FOI that covers documents with “a direct or indirect relationship to program material,” according to an article in the Weekend Australian.
The Herald Sun’s request for information on the ABC’s salaries for its TV and radio personalities was also met with a tight-lipped response by the media corporation.
The controversy stems in part from the fact that the ABC is withholding information despite the fact that it is a taxpayer-funded company.
– Morgan Watkins
Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email (email@example.com) or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).