Cyber attacks on news sites in Chile threaten freedom of information, says Reporters Without Borders

In the midst of rising social tensions sparked by ongoing student protests in Chile, with violent results for some journalists, Reporters Without Borders denounced new threats against freedom of information in the South American country following cyber attacks on three news sites on Nov. 4.

The website Sitiocero lost all its records since June and had to suspend service for 24 hours. Two other alternative news sites, La Otra Voz and Puro Periodismo, were victims of similar attacks but suffered fewer losses.

Mauricio Tolosa, co-founder and editor of Sitiocero, said the cyber attack was a form of censorship. "In Chile, to silence, to disappear, to destroy all seem to be part of what many consider the easiest and most efficient way to impose their own truth. Silence in the face of these attacks against a small, free, non-profit outlet opens the door to dark days for us all," Tolosa said in an article published by Agência de Notícias.

Reporters Without Broders also criticized a bomb attack on the offices of newspaper publisher Copesa, which publishes the newspaper La Tercera. "This climate of violence must be checked by police and judicial action and by a political response to the public’s calls for media pluralism," the organization said.