[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[FYI] (Fwd) FC: More on Milosevic censored websites -- with credit,

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Fri, 20 Oct 2000 10:33:01 -0400
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: More on Milosevic censored websites -- with credit, this time
Copies to:      	xeni.jardin@siliconalleyreporter.com
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

[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" <xeni.jardin@siliconalleyreporter.com>
To: <cicero@cluebot.com>, "Declan McCullagh" <declan@well.com>
Subject: re: FC: Milosevic censored opposition websites
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 08:07:53 -0700

Hi, folks,

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.




-----Original Message-----
From: Xeni Jardin [mailto:xeni@siliconalleyreporter.com]
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
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

Feedback: letters@siliconalleyreporter.com

--- POLITECH -- the moderated mailing list of politics and technology
You may redistribute this message freely if it remains intact. To
subscribe, visit http://www.politechbot.com/info/subscribe.html This
message is archived at http://www.politechbot.com/

------- End of forwarded message -------