Sat, May 05, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Activists hijack Chinese TV, broadcast messages

AFP , BEIJING

The signal of a government-run television station in southern China was hijacked by alleged hackers who used the frequencies to broadcast anti-government content, press reports said yesterday.

The incident occurred on the evening of May 1, when the broadcast of a popular singing contest on Guangzhou Satellite Cable Television was blacked out for up to 90 minutes, the Southern Metropolitan Daily reported.

During the blackout, anti-government images lasting up to 40 seconds appeared on television screens in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of China's economically booming region of Guangdong, the report said.

No details of the messages or the alleged hijackers was given.

Officials at the television station refused to comment on the issue when contacted by phone, citing government sensitivities over such actions.

Although the news report was taken off the Southern Metropolitan Daily Web site as of yesterday, the identical report appeared on other government Web sites around the nation such as the Sichuan provincial news Web site.

The incident was not the first time satellite signals from state-owned television broadcasts have been jammed and replaced with anti-government messages.

The banned spiritual group the Falungong earlier this decade repeatedly hijacked state television satellite signals and broadcast content attacking the Chinese Communist Party.

Meanwhile, dozens of security guards wielding metal pipes clashed with workers at the construction site of the main stadium for next year's Beijing Olympics leaving at least four injured, state press said yesterday.

The clashes occurred late on Thursday after workers were found smoking in a no-smoking zone at the stadium known as the Bird's Nest for its intricate design of interlaced steel beams, the Beijing News said.

One migrant laborer from Sichuan Province surnamed An said he tried to help two other workers being kicked and beaten by up to 10 security guards, when he himself was jumped on and pummeled, the report said.

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