BRUSSELS, Nov 7 (KUNA) -- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Monday strongly condemned serious breaches of journalists' private communications, which are protected under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The IFJ condemnation came after reports said more than 100 people, including journalists, have been systematically spied on by governments and commercial enterprises linked to the City of London.
This was revealed on 5 November after an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Sunday Times newspaper.
According to the revelations, private investigators used a 'hack-for-hire' Indian-based gang to spy on journalists from the BBC and The Sunday Times, as well as UK government ministers, football and motor racing executives, and dissident oligarchs.
The hackers targeted private email accounts of more than a hundred victims, following orders of private investigators working for autocratic states, and major law firms with bases in the City of London, said the IFJ in a statement.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said : "For some years the IFJ has called for robust international regulation of the technology that allows snooping on journalists, be it by governments, commercial interests, or those with a grudge to settle. "
"The ability of journalists to protect their sources underpins the operation of a free press. Its loss would seriously undermine the vital work of journalists to hold the rich and powerful to account," he warned.
The Brussels-based IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries. (end)