NGO Repubblika has announced it will hold a protest in Valletta tomorrow evening following a spate of spoof articles targeting government critics and the prosecution in the Yorgen Fenech murder case.
“This is part of the Mafia’s playbook; it is an attack on our democracy and our freedom of expression and association,” Repubblika president Robert Aquilina said in an online discussion show organised by his NGO last night.
“We cannot remain silent and I urge people to attend our demonstration on Tuesday.”
Aquilina said the demonstration, which he described as a manifestation of solidarity with journalists and activists, will be open to endorsements from NGOs and media houses.
“I urge all Maltese people of goodwill not to remain silent,” he said. “This is our future and our children’s future, and our country needs our physical presence in the streets. It’s useless to just grumble, our country needs you to be present with us and I urge you to join us in Valletta.”
Several spoof articles have emerged in recent days, impersonating websites such as Lovin Malta, Newsbook, TVM, StradaRjali and NET, while newsrooms have received fake emails which claimed to have been sent by Manuel Delia.
One of the spoof articles, which targeted Manuel Delia, used the spate of spoofing to defend murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, who was recently charged with trying to purchase weapons through the dark net in November 2018.
The spoof article claimed that the weapon orders were “spoofed” ‘ to make it appear that Fenech ordered them.
“According to well-informed sources, spoofing is used more often in Malta, for example Repubblika has recently become a victim of spoofing. According to the police, Yorgen Fenech paid with Bitcoin, but it turns out that this wallet was spoofed to make it look like Yorgen Fenech had the payment executed. The blockchain is public and therefore easy to manipulate by external parties.”
Opposition leader Bernard Grech has reacted to the spoof attacks by inviting Prime Minister Robert Abela to a discussion on how to strengthen Malta’s cybercrime laws and cyber police resources.
Cover photo: Repubblika president Robert Aquilina (Photo: Repubblika)
Will you attend the protest tomorrow?