Election authorities in France have waned the media - and public - against publishing documents obtained in a “massive and coordinated hacking attack” on presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, threatening criminal prosecution for those who do.
After holding an emergency meeting to discuss the hack, the commission, the CNCCEP, asked the media to avoid publishing any information from the leaked documents claiming some appear to contain “false information”.
“This attack has resulted in the publication of a number of important documents presented as having come from the information system of the candidate and the message accounts of their certain campaign offices on certain social networks,” wrote the CNCCEP following its meeting.
“The commission stresses that the dissemination of republication of such information, fraudulently obtained and which may, in all likelihood, have been mixed with false information, is liable to be classified as criminal in several respects for which its authors will be held responsible.”
Thousands of En Marche! (On the Move!) documents appeared online shortly before the beginning of the campaign blackout, rendering Macron and his rival Marine Le Pen unable to respond. Posted as #MacronLeaks on social media, En Marche! confirmed it had been the “victim of a massive and coordinated hack…which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information.”
“On the eve of the most important electoral deadline for our institutions, we call on all actors present on websites and social networks, first and foremost the media, but also citizens, to show a spirit of responsibility and not relay the contents of these documents,” the commission added.
French newspaper Le Monde said it had seen part of the documents and said the hack was “clearly aimed at disturbing the current electoral process.” The newspaper said it wound not publish any of the materials before the second round of voting was over and the results were known.
Opinion polls published on Friday suggest that Macron will win the election with a share of 62-63%. Earlier in the campaign process The Drum took a look at the 'bulletproof brand of Marine Le Pen'.