So much for “democracy” in France!
France Warns Media Not To Publish Hacked Macron Emails, Threatens With Criminal Charges
6 May, 2017
After 9 gigabytes of Macron-linked documents and emails were released on an anonymous pastebin website on Friday afternoon in what Macron's campaign said was a "massive and coordinated" hacking attack, France - fearing a similar response to what happened with Hillary Clinton after 35,000 John Podesta emails were released one month before the US presidential election - cracked down on the distribution of the files, warning on Saturday it would be a "criminal offense" to republish the data, and warning the French media not to publish content from any of the hacked emails "to prevent the outcome of the vote being influenced."
"If indeed driven by Moscow, this leak appears to be a significant escalation over the previous Russian operations aimed at the U.S. presidential election, expanding the approach and scope of effort from simple espionage efforts towards more direct attempts to sway the outcome," Kremez said.
Ben Nimmo, a UK-based security researcher with the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council think tank, said initial analysis indicated that a group of U.S. far-right online activists were behind early efforts to spread the documents via social media. They were later picked up and promoted by core social media supporters of Le Pen in France, Nimmo said.
The leaks emerged on 4chan, a discussion forum popular with far right activists in the United States. An anonymous poster provided links to the documents on Pastebin, saying, "This was passed on to me today so now I am giving it to you, the people."
The hashtag #MacronLeaks was then spread by Jack Posobiec, a pro-Trump activist whose Twitter profile identifies him as Washington D.C. bureau chief of the far-right activist site Rebel TV, according to Nimmo and other analysts tracking the election. Contacted by Reuters, Posobiec said he had simply reposted what he saw on 4chan.
“You have a hashtag drive that started with the alt-right in the United States that has been picked up by some of Le Pen’s most dedicated and aggressive followers online,” Nimmo told Reuters.