[ISN] Falun Gong's on TV

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Jul 01 2002 - 03:13:09 PDT

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    By Catherine Armitage in China
    29 June 02
    MILLIONS of Chinese television viewers got a shock this week when
    Falun Gong propaganda was beamed into their living rooms as members of
    the banned sect hijacked one of China's main television satellites.
    And in Beijing, surprised residents answered their phones this month
    to find a recorded Falun Gong message, up to five minutes long,
    attacking the Government's anti-Falun Gong claims point by point.  
    The hacking incidents highlight Falun Gong's sophistication and
    audacity as the group attempts to fight back in China and overseas.
    The satellite broadcast, in which a banner reading "Falun Gong is
    good" replaced normal TV viewing in Shandong province on Sunday night
    and again in prime time on Tuesday, is among the group's most daring
    moves since it was banned in 1999.
    Chinese security sources told The South China Morning Post that most
    of China Central Television's 10 channels, and another 10 provincial
    channels sharing the Sinosat-1 satellite, were interrupted on Sunday
    The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, based in Hong
    Kong, said the Falun Gong banner appeared on TV screens in Yantai
    city, Shandong and Laiyang county twice last week, in some cases for
    up to 15 minutes. The centre said it had confirmed the incidents with
    local security authorities and television stations.
    A spokesman for the Yantai security office in charge of dealing with
    Falun Gong said it had received complaints from the public. "They said
    a blurred image appeared on their screens for between 10 and 20
    seconds," an official said.
    A news blackout was enforced on the mainland and security officials
    and TV stations denied all knowledge of the incidents yesterday.
    Hong Kong media said Vice-President Li Lanqing, responsible for the
    mainland media, had ordered an investigation into the hacking. After
    the Falun Gong broadcast, millions of TV sets in remote and rural
    areas went black as the authorities tried to trace the source of the
    Officials are reportedly perplexed as to how Falun Gong had the
    knowledge and equipment needed to intercept a satellite broadcast.  
    There was speculation sect followers had equipped a vehicle to avoid
    The human rights and democracy centre said an antenna with a diameter
    of 3m could disrupt reception for hundreds of kilometres.
    Similar incidents occurred in January in Chonqing, Sichuan province,
    in March in Jilin province where Falun Gong leader Li Hongzhi was born
    and in Harbin in April. In these cases the targets were cable TV
    stations. More than 20 Falun Gong members were arrested over the March
    hacking and face up to 15 years in jail if convicted.
    Falun Gong's recorded telephone message -- sent to an unknown number
    of Beijing residents, and probably further -- claimed the Government
    had fabricated the incident in which three Falun Gong supporters set
    themselves alight in Tiananmen Square in January 2001.
    The recording also said sect followers were beaten and tortured in
    prison, and invited listeners to follow prompts to hear more
    information or Falun Gong songs.
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