13:32 May. 27, 2016
List features around 300 journalists from The New York Times, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg and many more
First, it was nationalist Ukrainian hackers, who were angry that journalists had accredited with separatists in southeast Ukraine. Then, it was pro-separatist hackers, who had stolen a list of journalists accredited with the Ukrainian government to cover the conflict.
Twice this month, the names, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, affiliations, and travel dates of thousands of journalists, as well as human-rights activists, were leaked onto vigilante websites that have been used to unmask opposing fighters in southeast Ukraine's two year-old war. The leaks, and the official reactions to them, have revealed a deep suspicion of journalists who travel to both sides of the conflict and of their mandate to negotiate for permission to report from the local authorities, whoever that might be. One senior Ukrainian official called critics of the leak "liberal separatists."
In many cases, the hackers from both sides were targeting the same reporters. Journalists who have traveled to rebel-held Ukraine from Kiev say they have to accredit with both sides in the conflict in order to safely pass checkpoints and gain access to reporting targets. The accreditation isn't always enough to ensure safety. Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky was blindfolded, beaten and tied up with tape, before being detained for three days by separatist forces.