Hungarian Journalists Responds to Cyber Attacks

The foreignpress media portal published a report I wrote about the situation of the press in Hungary.  “More than forty Hungarian online media outlets have recently suffered a so-called “overload attack,” which made the operation of the media portals unavailable for a longer or shorter period, the National Association of Hungarian Journalists (MÚOSZ) announced.”

MÚOSZ issued a statement stressing that since a significant part of the news is nowadays delivered online, overload attacks fundamentally undermine the fundamental rights of the press, including the freedom and diversity of the press and the right to information, in a seriously unlawful manner.

According to MÚOSZ:

“In the digital age, censorship can also operate digitally: anonymously, online, unexpectedly, in a destructive way. Cybercriminals are professionals, and the only way to defend against them is to defend against them. Professional preparedness and prevention require a human force with the right IT skills, a coordinated effort, the right tools, and the necessary financial resources. This is something that small newsrooms cannot afford.”

The MÚOSZ calls for united action, as their communication puts it, “with broad social cooperation.”

The statement stresses that “an overload attack paralyzes the operation of a given press organization or media outlet for a longer or shorter period of time, i.e. there is no news service, no dissemination of opinions.”

The cyber-attack is a criminal case, which has been reported by Media1, (a Hungarian medium), for investigation. The Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation has launched the necessary proceedings.

MÚOSZ notes in its statement that Hungary has a publicly funded organization—the National Media and Info-Communications Authority—whose stated aim is to promote “as a modern, professional authority, access for all to diverse and modern media, info-communications and postal services in Hungary.” It stresses and underlines that “Diverse, accessible and barrier-free information for all is the basis of any democratic system. If anything, it is worth spending public money on. The MÚOSZ is ready to contribute to the organization of an effective defense!”

As a journalist who cares deeply about ethical journalism, I believe that cybercrime is not a problem specific to one country, but a problem for all countries in the world where media organizations want to run their news services professionally and ethically. All journalists, editors, and publishers must work to ensure that media portals can operate smoothly to the satisfaction of readers, cultivating a space where information is open and two-way communication is achieved, feedback from readers, viewers, and listeners.


Thomas Barat

Source: The National Association of Hungarian Journalists Responds to Cyber Attacks Against Media Portals — FOREIGN PRESS