每日英語跟讀 Ep.K147: 當間諜駭入新聞界 When Spies Hack Journalism

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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K147: When Spies Hack Journalism界

For decades, leakers of confidential information to the press were a genus that included many species: the government worker infuriated by wrongdoing, the ideologue pushing a particular line, the politico out to savage an opponent. In recent years, technology has helped such leakers operate on a mass scale: Chelsea Manning and the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables, Edward Snowden and the stolen National Security Agency archive, and the still-anonymous source of the Panama Papers.But now this disparate cast has been joined by a very different sort of large-scale leaker, more stealthy and better funded: the intelligence services of nation states, which hack into troves of documents and then use a proxy to release them. What Russian intelligence did with shocking success to the Democrats in 2016 shows every promise of becoming a common tool of spycraft around the world.


In 2014, North Korea, angry about a movie, hacked Sony and aired thousands of internal emails. Since then, Russia has used the hack-leak method in countries across Europe. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar, Persian Gulf rivals, have accused each other of tit-for-tat hacks, leaks and online sabotage. Other spy services are suspected in additional disclosures, but spies are skilled at hiding their tracks.“It’s clear that nation states are looking at these mass leaks and seeing how successful they are,” said Matt Tait, a cyber expert at the University of Texas who previously worked at Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of the National Security Agency.


What does this mean for journalism? The old rules say that if news organizations obtain material they deem both authentic and newsworthy, they should run it. But those conventions may set reporters up for spy agencies to manipulate what and when they publish, with an added danger: An archive of genuine material may be seeded with slick forgeries.This quandary is raised with emotional force by my colleague Amy Chozick in her new book about covering Hillary Clinton. She recounts reading a New York Times story about the Russian hack of the Democrats that said The Times and other outlets, by publishing stories based on the hacked material, became “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.” She felt terrible, she reports, because she thought she was guilty as charged.Others hurried to reassure Chozick that she and hundreds of other reporters who covered the leaked emails were simply doing their jobs. “The primary question a journalist must ask himself is whether or not the information is true and relevant,” wrote Jack Shafer, the media critic for Politico, “and certainly not whether it might make Moscow happy.”

這對新聞界而言意味著什麼?按照老規矩,新聞組織一旦取得他們認為具有真實性和新聞價值的材料,就認為應該公諸於世。但是這些慣例可能導致記者遭到間諜機構操縱他們所發布的內容以及時間,而且還有一項風險:真材實料的檔案可能暗藏巧妙的造假。我的同事艾咪.丘齊克在她談採訪希拉蕊.柯林頓的新書中,情緒激動地說明了這項窘境。她描述看過紐約時報與俄羅斯駭入民主黨相關的一篇報導,文章指出,紐時和其他媒體根據被駭資料做報導時,「實際上也成了俄羅斯情報單位的工具」。她報導說,她感覺糟透了,因為她自覺犯了這樣的錯。其他人急忙安慰丘齊克,她和數百位採訪外洩電子郵件新聞的記者,只是盡職而已。 Politico媒體評論家傑克.薛佛寫道:「記者必須問自己的首要問題是,這些資料是否屬實以及是否相關,絕不會是這樣做會不會讓莫斯科高與。」Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/327698/web/



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