The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply
concerned to learn that the email of a journalist conducting sensitive
investigative work in mainland China
has been hacked.
Caixin Media investigative journalist Zhao Hejuan had her Google email
(Gmail) account infiltrated by a hacker between July 19 and 22 after she went
to Shaoyang, Hunan Province as part of her investigation
into illegal trafficking of children.
According to a statement by the company on July 23, the hacker’s
IP address was from Longhui County, Shaoyang,
Hunan Province where Zhao was
following up a Caixin report from May 8. It is alleged that local babies and toddlers
were removed by local officials of the National
Population and Family Planning Commission, with the excuse to the families that
they had breached China’s
one-child policy. The children were then allegedly illegally sold overseas.
Zhao, accompanied by an in-house lawyer, reported the hacking to
her local police station on July 22. Police said they will hand the case to
sub-bureau of the public security office in Chao Yang, Beijing, and will provide a response as soon
“Hacking into an individual’s email account is not only a clear
breach of privacy, it is a criminal act,” the IFJ
“It is even more worrisome when a journalist’s email is hacked, as
because a journalist’s confidential sources may be compromised.”
The IFJ applauds the actions of Caixin in reporting the incident
to police and pledging to follow up the case.
The IFJ urges police to conduct a swift and thorough investigation
into the allegations of hacking.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents
more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
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