Myanmar government denies hacking journalist e-mail accounts


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Kimihiro Hoshino

The government of Myanmar has denied journalist's claims that it hacked into their Gmail accounts, leading some to speculate on the true nature of the formerly repressive government's supposedly radical reform.

At least 12 journalists were first alerted to the alleged incursion when Gmail issued warnings to their accounts, telling them that hackers “may be attempting to compromise your account or your computer," according to the Associated Press.

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Some of the affected journalists include reporters for the Associated Press, Myanmar news organization Eleven Media, Thailand-based writer Bertil Lintner, and others, wrote the Bangkok Post.

“I can certainly confirm that we send these types of notices to accounts that we suspect are the targets of state-sponsored attacks,” Google spokesman Taj Meadows said to the New York Times, adding that it had begun issuing the warnings in June — although the company would not release the identities of the attackers, or identify the specific government involved.

Myanmar's government denies the claims, writes the Associated Press, and has demanded that Google identify the attackers "because the vague reference to state-sponsored attackers hurts the image of the government.”

Some speculate the attacks may be linked to the recent outbreak of violence in Myanmar's northern Kachin State, where government forces are clashing with Kachin rebels, leading to international controversy.