These are attacks on the freedom of the media and on freedom of speech; the organization will not respond to any attempt at illegal constraint
Repórter Brasil has been the target of a series of attacks in the last few days that managed to remove its website (reporterbrasil.org.br) from the air. Attackers threaten to continue criminal action if reports are not deleted.
This situation is not only a flagrant disregard for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but also a possible crime of illegal constraint, provided for in Article 146 of the Penal Code.
After a series of attacks managed to bring the site down for a few hours on January 6, the organization received an anonymous email: “As you may have noticed, you experienced some technical problems on the last date. So that this doesn’t happen again, remove the materials in the 2003, 2004, 2005 (sic) folders ”.
As Repórter Brasil did not answer, nor will it respond to any attempt at illegal constraint, especially one that represents self-censorship, the attacks continued.
On Thursday morning (7), Repórter Brasil’s headquarters underwent an attempted physical invasion. Due to the arrival of neighbors, the break-in of the gate cannot be accomplished, but it will have to undergo repairs. Security has been tightened. On Friday (8), the criminals issued an ultimatum: “we will wait until 11/11 for you to comply with our requests…” And, on this Monday (11), the attacks returned with force, keeping the site down for a few hours.
Repórter Brasil is constantly harassed by disaffected people who demand that stories be removed from the air. It is not possible to say whether one of them is behind the attacks or whether the objective is to keep the portal inaccessible, which should be the subject of a detailed investigation by the responsible authorities.
Repórter Brasil’s digital security team has managed to neutralize the action, but they are changing their strategy, which creates instability in access.
With the help of our lawyers, police reports were issued by the Civil Police of São Paulo. And we are communicating to the Federal Public Ministry, among other competent institutions, and we will closely monitor the progress of the investigations.
The organization’s journalism, which turns 20 in 2021, is recognized and awarded internationally for covering environmental crimes and human rights violations.
On January 4, for example, the organization published a journalistic investigation into the productive chain of labor analogous to slavery in cattle ranching, which had great repercussions outside the country.
If, on the one hand, attacks like this are proof of the quality of our journalism, on the other hand they are an alert to other vehicles of a new type of harassment: censorship through digital violence.