Television

CNN's Chris Cramer lambasts cyber terrorism

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CNN International Networks president Chris Cramer is livid. The reason. "Respected news organisations such as CNN and Reuters have become a target of a war of hatred, misinformation and cynicism," he says.

Cramer is especially annoyed by the spate of emails which have been doing the rounds denouncing the footage of Palestinians in East Jerusalem celebrating the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre as archival material (it is alleged to date back to 1991) and aired on CNN to sway public opinion. Cramer says that the origin of the rumour was from a chat room in Spain and that Reuters Television has since confirmed that the footage was indeed shot on 11 September and was not older material.

Cramer additionally adds that "fictitious CNN websites have appeared in the past week together with other allegations, disseminated via e-mail in South Africa, that CNN had allegedly reported that the attacks had been planned in South Africa." He says that this is totally untrue.

And according to him, what makes things worse is the fact that "e-mail attacks on broadcasters by lobby groups and those with special interests have become the norm in recent years. This was a concerted attempt to distort the news not just lobby against certain aspects of it.

Cyber-terrorism like urban terrorism is now an everyday occurrence, and it is equally as difficult to defend against it. Bitter irony when you consider that some of the earliest embracing of the Internet was by the US military to contain civil unrest in the event of a catastrophic war.

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