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How a cyberwar was spun by shoddy journalism
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 02:34:23 -0500 (CDT)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/29/cyberwar-spun-shoddy-journalism

By Heather Brooke
guardian.co.uk
29 March 2013

A veteran Reuters reporter related a piece of advice given by his editor: "It's not just what you print that makes you an authoritative and trusted source for news, but what you don't print."

He wasn't talking about censorship, he was talking about what separates journalism from stenography and propaganda: sceptical scrutiny. The professionalism of the craft isn't simply learning to write or broadcast what other people tell you. Crucially it is the ability to delve, interrogate and challenge, and checking out stories you've discovered through your own curiosity, or robustly testing what other people tell you is true.

Scepticism was in short supply this week when breathless claims about the collapse of the internet were published in such reputable publications as the New York Times, the BBC and even technical journal Ars Technica, all falling prey to the hyped-up drama of a DDoS attack against Spamhaus, a group that tracks spammers, and their alleged attacker Cyberbunker, a Dutch hosting company Spamhaus had blacklisted.

Ars Technica described the attack as at "a scale that's threatening to clog up the internet's core infrastructure and make access to the rest of the internet slow or impossible". "If a Tier 1 provider fails, that risks breaking the entire internet," it continued.

[...]


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