MPs discuss hacking of media
8 November 2007, AMSTERDAM - Dutch legislators will convene Thursday in an emergency session to discuss the hacking of an independent Dutch news agency website by employees of the social affairs ministry.
8 November 2007
AMSTERDAM - Dutch legislators will convene Thursday in an emergency session to discuss the hacking of an independent Dutch news agency website by employees of the social affairs ministry.
Last weekend the GPD news agency reported that staff members of the social affairs ministry's communication department allegedly hacked into their computer system and tried to manipulate its stories.
They are said to have used the username and password of a former colleague to access the GPD computer system. This gave them access for over a year to unpublished stories, as well as to the news service's internal agenda.
Late Wednesday night, Inez Wezki, the lawyer of the two social affairs ministry spokesmen said her clients had not once tried to manipulate news stories.
Wezki said the two employees were also not capable of manipulating any news stories and referred to the accusations against her clients as "disproportional."
"It is not true my clients had access to the whole GPD network and its administrative website," she said.
"The site they had access to is the website where the GPD publishes its stories from where newspapers can pick them up for publication in their own media," she said.
The attorney of the two social affairs ministry spokesmen, who were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Tuesday pending an external independent investigation, said her clients were wrongfully accused of influencing the news stories produced by the news agency.
Independent GPD provides news to regional and local newspapers in the Netherlands. The two civil servants who allegedly hacked into the GPD computer were both former GPD employees.
The social affairs ministry has requested an external investigation into the affair.
[Copyright dpa 2007]
Subject: Dutch news