Journalists in Myanmar Targeted by State-Sponsored Attacks

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The New York Times' Thomas Fuller reports that several reporters who cover Myanmar have received warnings from Google stating that their e-mail accounts may have been targeted by "state-sponsored attackers."

"The warnings began appearing last week, said the journalists, who included employees of Eleven Media, one Myanmar’s leading news organizations; Bertil Lintner, a Thailand-based author and expert on Myanmar’s ethnic groups; and a Burmese correspondent for The Associated Press," Fuller writes. "Taj Meadows, a Google spokesman in Tokyo, said that he could not immediately provide specifics about the warnings, but said that Google had begun the policy of notifying users of suspicious activity in June."

"Google doesn't reveal how it discovers these attacks and it won't do so any time soon, presumably, to prevent governments from working around the detection method," writes Softpedia's Eduard Kovacs.

"Myanmar has only recently opened up restrictions on news media, which was tightly controlled during decades of military rule; the Times notes that the country now has successful weekly publications that have begun to report on topics that could make the government uncomfortable," writes The Verge's T.C. Sottek.

"Ye Htut, a spokesperson for President Thein Sein, labeled the implication of state involvement 'baseless, adding 'I doubt the authenticity' of the alerts," writes The Wall Street Journal's Shibani Mahtani. "'There is no policy of the government to attack [a] media website,' he said."