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Rebiya Kadeer and the film 10 Conditions of Love and the Melbourne Film Festival continue to be the focus of international attention, thanks to a group of anarchic China-based hackers.
Hackers broke into the Melbourne International Film Festival’s official website and replaced festival information with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans. The site was subsequently subjected to spam attacks. Meanwhile Festival Director Richard Moore’s email account was inundated with abusive messages since the day he refused to comply with Chinese Government’s insolent demand to withdraw the Kadeer film from the program. The matter is now under police investigation. Initial findings indicate that the attacks originated from China.
Computer hacking is classified in International Law under “Terrorism”. To be precise, it is called “Cyber-terrorism”.
My understanding is that the Chinese Government is very keen to seek cooperation from international communities to fight terrorism. I am therefore calling upon Chinese authorities, particularly Chinese government’s representatives in Australia, to fully cooperate with Victorian Police and Australian Federal Police in their efforts to track down those China-based hackers who have committed such acts of cyber-terrorism.
I also suggest that the Australia Government should issue travel warnings to Australians who plan to travel to China. The Chinese language media in the PRC has been using both the Stern Hu scandal and the Kadeer film as excuses to launch an anti-Australia campaign. There is also evidence to suggest that the Chinese government is trying hard to conceal this anti-Australia sentiment by blocking similar reports from appearing in its English language newspapers. Take the Global Times as an example. Many reports about the MIFF have appeared in its Chinese edition in the last few days. One of these online reports has attracted more than 500 anti-Australia comments. These reports were instantly copied and disseminated at major Internet portals in China. However, up till now not a single report about the MIFF had appeared in the English edition of the Global Times.
The Chinese Government has used similar tactics of appealing to public sentiment in its dealings with the French. In this difficult economic climate, the Chinese Government will use all tricks available to extort concessions from trading partners, or to shift blame away from the Communist leadership. Therefore I remind the Australian Foreign Affairs Ministry to advise caution. There are good reasons to be concerned about the safety of Australians in China.