Email Account of China Investigative Journalist Infiltrated

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

as possible.


“Hacking into an individual’s email account is not only a clear

breach of privacy, it is a criminal act,” the IFJ

Asia-Pacific said.


“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.  


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents

more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries


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IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific


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