Posts Tagged ‘hacker’

FOI Update: China praises ‘handsome’ hero, condemns U.S. ‘double-standard’

Whistle-blower Edward Snowden might be getting flack from Washington about his NSA surveillance exposure, but in China he’s a “handsome” hero, ABC News reports.

Many Chinese have taken to China’s version of Twitter, called Weibo, posting the leaker’s old modeling photos (turns out Snowden had a brief modeling stint). On a Weibo survey, 78 percent of respondents see Snowden as “freedom fighter who is protecting civil liberties,” ABC reports.

Snowden first told the Guardian he chose Hong Kong for his hideout because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.”

And the results of the Weibo survey make it look like he’s safe, considering only three percent of respondents support turning him over to the U.S. government, ABC News said.

But even though it looks like China has taken a liking to Snowden, the nation has little patience with the U.S. as a whole since U.S. efforts to hack Chinese correspondence creates a “double standard” after the U.S. complained about Chinese hacking in May.

According to the Guardian, China said U.S. surveillance is testing Sino-U.S. ties and straining an already “soured relationship” on cybersecurity.

Kara Hackett is SPJ’s Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern, a freelance writer and a free press enthusiast. Contact her at or on Twitter: @KaraHackett.

FOI DAILY DOSE: PBS hacked over WikiLeaks story and Australian Broadcast Corp. slammed for secrecy

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 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 ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).



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