The French election commission and all French media are attempting to keep presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s email and document release from having an impact on the election; even going so far as to warn people that reading the content might be illegal.
With 9.9 gigabytes of data uploaded to Pastebin it sets up a rather unusual issue if Macron happens to win the election and the content of the email and documents show manipulation and coordination of the candidate by interests external to France.
Via Reuters – France sought to keep a computer hack of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails from influencing the outcome of the country’s presidential election with a warning on Saturday it could be a criminal offence to republish the data.
Macron’s team said a “massive” hack had dumped emails, documents and campaign financing information online just before campaigning ended on Friday and France entered a quiet period which forbids politicians from commenting on the leak.
The data leak emerged as polls predicted Macron, a former investment banker and economy minister, was on course for a comfortable victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s election, with the last surveys showing his lead widening to around 62 percent to 38.
“On the eve of the most important election for our institutions, the commission calls on everyone present on internet sites and social networks, primarily the media, but also all citizens, to show responsibility and not to pass on this content, so as not to distort the sincerity of the ballot,” the French election commission said in a statement on Saturday.
However, the commission – which supervises the electoral process – may find it difficult to enforce its rules in an era where people get much of their news online, information flows freely across borders and many users are anonymous.
French media covered the hack in various ways, with left-leading Liberation giving it prominence on its website, but television news channels opting not to mention it.
Le Monde newspaper said on its website it would not publish the content of any of the leaked documents before the election, partly because the huge amount of data meant there was not enough time to report on it properly, but also because the dossiers had been published on purpose 48 hours before the election with the clear aim of affecting the vote. (read more)