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'The Wall Street Journal Europe' on RFE/RL Cyber Attacks


In an editorial titled Cyberjamming, "The Wall Street Journal Europe" discusses the recent cyber attacks against RFE/RL's Belarus Service and other language sites:

"Eight Internet sites operated by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were knocked out or affected in recent days by what the broadcaster calls an 'unprecedented cyberattack.' Welcome to the front lines of the 21st century's information wars. The medium and the means may have changed from the days when this legendary U.S.-funded station set up shop to beam news behind the Iron Curtain. But the conflict is no less pitched. Despots live in fear of accurate information and go to extraordinary means to stop it. The likely source of the cyberstrike is Europe's longest-ruling dictator, Belarus's Aleksander Lukashenko. The Web site of RFE/RL's Belarusan-language service on Saturday was brought down by 50,000 'fake hits' a second. The Minsk regime may have wanted to limit access to coverage of opposition protests. Saturday marked the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl accident and the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. In the old days, the Soviets and their satellites jammed radio broadcasts. 'They did not succeed in the last century and they will not succeed now,' Jeffrey Gedmin, RFE/RL president, said yesterday. The cyberattacks spread to the Iranian, Russian and other Web sites of the radios' local-language stations. By last night, the sites were back up. Cyberattacks are the latest threat to this plucky broadcaster, and freedom of the press in general. In the past year, numerous RFE/RL journalists have been killed, kidnapped and intimidated in the course of reporting the news. They deserve our respect and support."

To read more about the cyber attacks on the RFE/RL English-language website, click here.
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