In yet another denunciation of the murder of a journalist, this time in Haiti and reportedly by police, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned this “intolerable attack on democracy and rule of law.”Haitian radio reporter Abdias Jean was allegedly killed by police in the Village de Dieu sector of the capital Port-au-Prince on 14 January. Police are reported to have beaten and shot him after he identified himself as a journalist while covering a police raid on the shanty town and their killing of several people there.“I strongly condemn the killing of Abdias Jean who appears to have been shot dead for carrying out his professional duty to inform the public,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said. “If reports that Mr. Jean was killed by the police are confirmed, it would be particularly shocking to think that such crimes are perpetrated by the very forces responsible for law and order.”He voiced his concern about the situation in Haiti, and persistent reports of violence against the media, which he said “have an essential role to play if normalcy and good governance are to be established in the country.”It was the latest of many condemnations Mr. Matsuura has issued over the past year in connection with attacks on journalists around the world. UNESCO’s mandate inckudes the defence of freedom of expression and press freedom.
1,200 INSTITUTIONS from across Europe – including banks, internet providers and governments – are today being hit by a deliberate ‘cyber’ attack.The deliberate attack is part of an EU-wide experiment to see how institutions would handle a sustained malicious attack – and aims to identify what measures are needed to avoid such an attack happening in real life.The simulated ‘distributed denial of service’ attack (DDoS) attack sees sites deliberately bombarded with page requests – a tactic which means legitimate web traffic is squeezed out and cannot be processed. Typically the goal of the attack is to send a site offline altogether.Larger sites regularly attract unsuccessful DDoS attacks, though coordinated attacks on a larger scale are becoming more regular occurrences. Earlier this year several Irish government websites were knocked offline by such an attack.If such a co-ordinated attack was to be effective in real life, it could result in massive disruption for millions of people across Europe, and cost billions in lost economic output.“This is the first time banks and internet companies have been part of an EU-wide cyber-attack exercise,” Neelie Kroes, the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said.“This cooperation is essential given the growing scale and sophistication of cyber-attacks.“Working together at European level to keep the internet and other essential infrastructures running is what today’s exercise is all about.”