Threats against Media Organizations and Outlets by Public Officials, 19/09/2022, Tirana

    photo: canva
    Contry AL
    Name and Surname Media Organizations
    Gender Group Media Organizations
    Date 19/09/2022
    City / Location
    Type of incident Threats against media outlets and organizations
    By whom By public officials
    Name of the perpetrator Public Officials
    Type of media Radio and television print online
    Media name Media Organizations
    Was journalist`s association informed Yes

    Following the publication, a trove of files was hacked during a wave of recent cyber-attacks in Albania (the first attack was on 15th July 2022 on all government e-services under AKSHI (National Agency for Information Society) and the Tirana Prosecution started an investigation on 19th July 2022. The second attack was on 9 September on the systems of the Ministry of Interior and particularly the TIMS system (Traveller Information Management System). Then on 19th September, Monday, a group calling itself Homeland Justice published its latest trove of hacked Albanian data, this time email correspondence involving Nano, the former head of State Police), the Prosecutor’s Office of Tirana has ordered on 19th September media not to publish any of the leaked emails/documents/information. Initially this was only a Facebook post in the State Police Facebook Page and then on 20th a press statement was issued online in the web page of the Prosecution.

    While investigating the case the Persecutors Office has decided that none of the audiovisual media/printed media/online portals or any other type of communication outlet should publish any information regarding such topic.

    According to the order of the Prosecutors also distributed by the Police, the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) and the Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) will collect data and anyone found guilty will be held accountable.

    “In case of violation of this decision, Unit C for the Investigation of Cybercrime in the State Police will immediately start the investigation within the framework of criminal proceedings No. 5430/2022, for the legal responsibility of the persons responsible”, says the Prosecutor’s Office.

    On 20th September, the Audiovisual Media Authority issues a Facebook Statement appealing to audiovisual media not to publish sensitive information: “…Respecting the standard of free audiovisual activity, or editorial independence in the design and production of program catalogs by licensed entities, AMA expects editorial offices to show prudence and professional responsibility in the presentation and handling of the publication of the data that have been obtained illegally by groups of Iranian hackers in the computer systems of Albanian public institutions. The fact is that some of the audiovisual media have not preferred to publish sensitive data with elements of national security violation, thus respecting the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic and not falling prey to the intentions of cyber attackers, while we do appeal and we ask that other media avoid the publication of content that hinders and de-conspires the investigation of the prosecuting body.” – the statement reads.