On January 20, 2022, a cyber-attack was directed at News Corp. It was believed to have been linked to China, as the accounts and journalists affected benefited Chinese interests. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post were the prominent publications impacted by the attack.
The attack comes when China tries to put its best foot forward as it hosts the Winter Olympics in Beijing. China has been relentless with its public messaging while trying to stifle dissent on issues like its aggressive stance toward Taiwan, having over 1.8 million people in concentration camps, and the relentless infiltration of our major institutions. There has even been pressure from the government, with Nancy Pelosi getting blowback for telling our Olympic athletes to stay quiet on China’s many cases of abuse.
It is not the first time China, or its agents, have taken an aggressive stance toward journalists. Examples include China expelling reporters and engaging in intimidation tactics. The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) sees journalists from open societies as a threat to the top-down propaganda it boasts upon its people. Another method employed to accomplish this is the CCP’s attempt to control internet access of its people by the so-called “Great Firewall,” which is used to stifle content the regime disapproves of.
Although Chinese authorities denied being involved with the January cyber-attack, hiding their more brazen attacks on journalists is hard, especially when they happen on live TV. CCP officials took a Danish reporter away during an on-site report with the camera rolling at the Olympics. You can see the confusion and horror of the in-studio anchor as she witnessed her colleague ushered away. There have been other reports of CCP officials hindering reporters at the Olympics.
There is no doubt that China is engaged in a coordinated assault on the journalistic institutions of democratic countries. It is being done behind the scenes as well as in full view. At this point, no one has shown the will to stand up to the CCP. Until that begins to happen, these attacks will only continue and intensify.