Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft
------- Forwarded message follows ------- Date sent: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 10:33:01 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Declan McCullagh <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: FC: More on Milosevic censored websites -- with credit, this time Copies to: email@example.com Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
[Xeni last month sent me Silicon Alley Reporter's story breaking this story, and I never sent it out. My apologies. I hope this will set the record straight. --Declan]
From: "Xeni Jardin" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Declan McCullagh" <email@example.com> Subject: re: FC: Milosevic censored opposition websites Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 08:07:53 -0700
Just wanted to point out that we broke this story nearly a month earlier (copy of the first exclusive we sent you then is attached)... In fact, we broke a series of related Net/.yu TLD news items during the crisis, all between 27th Sep and 6 October, weeks in advance of the heise.de story -- which appears to have cribbed a number of the details we broke without sourcing us.
SILICON ALLAY DAILY WROTE: -----Original Message----- From: Xeni Jardin [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 2:41 PM To: Declan McCullagh Subject: fyi from Silicon Alley Daily: Belgrade: Koštunica’s Party Claims Milosevic Government Hacked Web + E-mail service
Belgrade: Koštunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia Claims Milosevic Government Hacked its Websites, Blocked and Intercepted E-mail Service of Democratic Party and Other Opposition Groups
September 27, 2000 by Xeni Jardin url: http://www.siliconalleydaily.com/issues/sar09272000.html#Headline629 0
EXCLUSIVE. As crowds of approximately 250,000 opponents of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic gather tonight in downtown Belgrade to demand that the President concede defeat to apparent election winner Vojislav Koštunica, representatives of Koštunica's Democratic Party of Serbia informed the Silicon Alley Daily in an exclusive interview that websites and e-mail service for the Democratic Party of Serbia and the Democratic Opposition Coalition of Serbia were temporarily "hijacked" and redirected by technicians acting on behalf of the Milosevic government. The "Web takeover" reportedly began on election night, Sept. 24, and lasted more than 18 hours through the following day--a critical period during which the democratic opposition had planned to announce election results online and via e-mail to supporters. Sources from Belgrade further informed the Daily today that other popular opposition websites in the region such as www.freeserbia.org and www.izbori2000.net (Serbian for "elections2000"), were similarly blocked and redirected by agents acting on behalf of the Milosevic government. "We believe Milosevic knows that 80 percent of [the] people in Yugoslavia are against him," said Ivan Nesic, communications representative for Koštunica's Democratic Party. "He's probably trying to make our communication even harder because in these moments, communication is one of the keys in winning this battle. "[The Web] server where we host ds.org.yu is in America, so blocking sites that are not in Yugoslavia is very hard," Nesic continued. "They changed name server caches at the state-run ISP 'PTT YU,' and from within the academic network, which is also under government control." Milosevic's Socialist Party did not respond to requests for comment.
"They actually wanted to prevent people in Yugoslavia from learning the real results of the election." ---Ivan Nesic, communications representative for Koštunica’s Democratic Party
Serbian Democratic Party representatives say they are preparing for anticipated further online attacks by posting their domain's numeric IP address on the opening page of each site, thereby providing visitors with a way to authenticate each site's status and content. When asked whether similar incidents had occurred prior to the election period, Nesic said that while previous interference with e-mail service had taken place, "This time, they actually wanted to prevent people in Yugoslavia from learning the real results of the election. "Like all media in Serbia, the Internet is under pressure by [Milosevic's] Socialist party," Nesic stated, "We assume that our government organized people to deliberately jam our [online] presentation, and we now know they are using the academic network as a shield and as their Internet headquarters." Nesic explained that the Yugoslavian academic Internet system is one of the most accessible sources of Internet communication for citizens of this region. Speaking to the Daily from New York, RadioB92 co-founder and Belgrade native Drazen Pantic, a co-director of New York's Location1 gallery and recipient of the 1999 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award, said he believes similar occurrences are likely to continue throughout the next few days as the crisis surrounding the Yugoslav elections continues. "It is ... obvious that the Milosevic regime is taking the Internet very seriously as a propaganda tool and more importantly, as a source for gathering information about opposition groups," he said. Radiob92 is a Belgrade-based independent news organization and pan-media broadcaster. The venture, founded in 1989, is widely considered to be Yugoslavia's leading source for independent news. According to Pantic, the official administrator of the .yu top level domain for Yugoslavia is the University Information Center, headed by Bane Ivkovica, minister of science and technology for the Milosevic government. Pantic said, "[Ivkovica] apparently ordered his technicians to compromise the records of freeserbia.org and izbori2000.net, redirect the corresponding web pages to other [unrelated web sites], [and] redirect the e-mail traffic of freeserbia.org and izbori2000.net to an unidentified route. As a result, the live broadcast from the streets of Belgrade on www.freeserbia.org and www.izbori2000.net became unavailable. ... Sources from Belgrade claimed that [the hijacked sites displayed] pornographic images, flames against opposition leaders, and pictures of empty streets--their 'proof' that the reports about thousands of anti-Milosevic protesters on the streets were false." A statement issued by FreeSerbia explains that the organization's technical staff contacted the .yu domain administrators to demand an explanation. "Asked whether there was any legal basis for this action, Nenad Krajinovic, an administrator of the org.yu Internet domain, said they had been ordered to do so by the Serbian Ministry for Science and Technology and that Vlada Teodosic, Dean of Belgrade University Electrical Engineering Faculty which managed the administration of the org.yu Internet domain, passed on the ministry's order." In an interview today from Belgrade, RadioB92 co-founder Gordan Paunovic told the Daily, "Very little independent media remains in the country ... so, for days [during the period surrounding the elections], freeb92.net [Radiob92's website] had approximately 100,000 unique visitors daily, with more than 3 million requests from our webserver per day ... pretty strong hits considering that there are only around 250,000 [Internet] connections in Yugoslavia." Paunovic further reported that this week RadioB92 and its partner, TV ANEM, successfully completed a precedent-setting combined Internet, terrestrial and satellite broadcast of election news from Belgrade. "We used a 2 Mbps leased line, going to a dedicated Real Video server in Belgrade, to our broadcasting studio in Bosnia," he explained. The video stream was then broadcast to satellite and terrestrial TV recipients throughout the Balkan region, thereby becoming accessible to nearly all of the region's TV-vieweing population. A direct, non-Internet satellite or terrestrial television broadcast would have required a license from the Federal Ministry of telecommunications, said Paunovic--and approval of this independent broadcast by the Milosevic-controlled ministry would hav e been highly unlikely. "Here in Belgrade," Paunovic observed, "we had to get the best from the Net."
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