La única imagen que aparece en portal de VOA. Foto Javier Castaño

La agencia de noticias creada por el gobierno de los Estado Unidos está interferida desde esta mañana por un movimiento islámico. “Estamos investigando qué pasó y quiénes son los responsables”, dijo a QueensLatino.com Lesley Jackson, del departamento de Asuntos Públicos de Voices of America (VOA).

En el mensaje que subieron al internet hay símbolos en árabe, una imagen del mundo y un arma de fuego. Atacan directamente a Hillary Clinton, Secretaria de Estado de esta nación, y argumentan que no creen en su manipulación. “Esperamos que detenga su intervención en los países islámicos”, dice al final la nota que colocaron las personas que penetraron el sistema de información digital de VOA, con sede en Washington.

En el mensaje también advierten sobre lo que “puede hacer el oprimido mundo islámico al interior de los Estados Unidos”, aunque no especifican.

En estos momentos hay conmoción social en países árabes como Egipto y Libia, entre otros.

The following information comes from the official VOA website:

What is the “Voice of America”?
“The Voice of America (VOA) is an international multimedia broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, informational, educational, and cultural programs every week to an audience of some 94 million people worldwide. VOA programs are produced and broadcast in more than 50 languages through radio, satellite television, and the Internet.”

What languages is it available in?
Voice of America creates programs in 50 different languages.

Where is VOA located?
Voice of America is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The mailing address is:
Voice of America
330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20237

What is VOA’s phone number?
(202) 401-7000.

Who funds the Voice of America?
VOA is funded by the United States government. In 2003, the budge allocated by the U.S. Congress for Radio and TV programming was $160 million dollars.

How does Voice of America gather its news?
VOA has about 30 correspondents around the world. They work within 22 news bureaus in the United States and other countries. VOA also employs “stringers”, who freelance for the VOA on story assignments.

How can I hear the Voice of America?
VOA is available on AM, FM, short wave Radio, satellite television and via the Internet

How can I find out what programs are available?
A programming guide is available online.

I still have unanswered questions. What do I do?
You can email questions to: pubaff@ibb.gov

– Corey Deitz


PRESS RELEASE FROM VOA AFTER IT WAS HACKED

Hacking and Signal Interference of U.S. International Broadcasting

Washington, D.C. Feb. 22, 2011 – As popular protests unfold across the Middle East, U.S. international broadcasting faces increased satellite signal interference and a web Domain Name System (DNS) attack.

“Our broadcasters are at the forefront of reporting the most tumultuous events we have seen unfold since 1989,” said Walter Isaacson, Chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) which oversees all U.S. international broadcasting including the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe (RFE). “It is a testament to their vital role that they are subject to the work of hackers and signal interference.”

On Monday, February 21, an unknown party hacked the Voice of America’s primary domain name (VOANews.com), along with numerous related domains registered with Network Solutions. Web users were directed to a website claiming to be run by a group called the “Iranian Cyber Army.”

“There’s a saying that a hit dog hollers – that can be applied to whoever tried to cut off access to VOA News by attacking the domain provider on Monday. The fact that the sites were redirected to the Iranian Cyber Army certainly raises an eyebrow or two,” said Dana Perino member of the BBG. “Technology is chipping away at the stranglehold on free and fair information inside Iran. VOA News is strongly committed to providing the news at it happens in a variety of ways so that every Iranian that can get access to the free media can benefit from our journalists’ reporting.”

This was a Domain Name System (DNS) attack redirecting the VOANews.com website. This was not a breach of internal systems or servers. No data was lost or compromised as a result of this event. An investigation is underway to determine who is responsible.

Since February 13, there has been intermittent but frequent interference of VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN) and RFE’s Radio Farda satellite signals with programming in Persian for audiences in Iran.

As of the morning of February 21, there has been a continuous service interruption on one satellite channel carrying VOA’s PNN. PNN is carried on three other satellite paths as well as online including a popular TV satire, “Parazit”. Millions of the show’s fans use proxy servers to access the program through social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. In the last month, Facebook recorded more than 20 million impressions on Parazit’s page.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí).

For more information, please call the BBG’s Office of Public Affairs at 202-203-4400 or e-mail publicaffairs@bbg.gov.

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