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Neelie Kroes Says EC Computers Hacked In Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan denies claims from European Commissioner that EC laptops were hacked in Baku

On by Steve McCaskill 4

Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, has claimed that laptops belonging to European Commission advisers were hacked when they were taken to a government conference in Azerbaijan.

The allegations were made in a blog post written by Kroes after she attended the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a UN-backed discussion group that debates the future of Internet policies, practices and technologies, in the capital, Baku.

Azerbaijan has disputed the allegations, claiming that they are designed to undermine the image of the country, but has invited the EC to submit any evidence so that it can begin an investigation.

Neelie Kroes said she was hacked

Hacker, Security © altafulla Shutterstock 2012In her post, Kroes said that she wasn’t sure whether or not to attend the conference given Azerbaijan’s human rights record, but decided to attend as the IGF has had a positive impact elsewhere and because the President offered her the chance to meet political prisoners.

“I wondered for a very long time whether I should attend this week’s Internet Governance Forum in Baku. But in fact many of the dozens of journalists, bloggers, and human rights defenders I met here thought it was helpful,” said Kroes. “And when the IGF comes to town, radical change often follows. Because, when empowered, connected citizens press for greater freedom. As happened in Tunisia and Egypt in the years after they held this conference.”

However Kroes did not meet any prisoners and alleged that “activists were harassed at the internet conference. My advisers had their computers hacked.”

The attacks allegedly took place at the hotel that Kroes and EC staff were staying at and they were alerted by security warnings from Apple. An EC spokesperson said that they believed it was some type of surveillance and that the computers were to be forensically analysed to see if any information had been taken out.

A spokesperson for the Azerbaijan President’s office told the country’s Trend newspaper that local law enforcement and the managers of the hotel had been told to “address the issue”, but that no evidence had been passed onto authorities.

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Steve McCaskill
Author: Steve McCaskill
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4 replies to Neelie Kroes Says EC Computers Hacked In Azerbaijan

  • On November 14, 2012 at 11:12 am by Ryan Heath

    I just want to point out that no-one is, or has, claimed that European Commission computer was compromised. I received warnings on my personal computer, and am now checking the exact nature of any “hacking” that may have occurred. We can all calm down.

    • On November 15, 2012 at 8:54 am by Love

      lol… I love it how you compare yourself to the European Commission, it seems like you got one big ego!

      And the funnier part is how you are Not bothered by the human right violations, but you are with the hacking of the laptops.

  • On November 15, 2012 at 9:03 am by Love

    Neeli Kroes only stated a fact and did not accuse!

    And this spam/virus link that is being spread around, is just such a baloney! This conference was for “internet security”, hence the individuals who lead it…are educated individuals in this field, and not lay individuals… Hence, they will know the difference between receiving a REAL message vs. a SPAM link.

    I am more bothered by the fact that the leader of the Aleyve Clan promised her to meet with the imprisoned activists, then when she got to the gate…she was denied entrance!!!!!

  • On November 15, 2012 at 9:55 am by Paul Allain

    Now she wants to take credit for what happened in Tunisia and Egypt? Please stop insulting people’s intelligence – thank you!

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