Complaint filed in Paris about jamming of Radio Erena

Complaint filed in Paris about jamming of Radio Erena

Published on Thursday 8 November 2012.
Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in Paris on 6 November accusing persons unknown of acts of piracy against Radio Erena, an Eritrean exile radio station based in Paris which broadcasts by satellite to the Horn of Africa and which is backed by Reporters Without Borders.
A pirate transmission jammed the station’s signal on 14 August. Arabsat, the satellite operator that carried Radio Erena on its BADR-6 satellite, reacted by suspending the station because the jamming was disrupting other signals. It restored Radio Erena on 2 September only to suspend it again two days later, this time indefinitely, because the jamming had resumed. The station’s website was meanwhile the target of a cyber-attack on 28 August. More information about all these acts of piracy.
Radio Erena’s programmes can no longer be heard by Eritreans living in Eritrea because its satellite broadcasting has been paralysed for more than three months,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“A judicial investigation has to be launched in France with the aim of establishing the precise origin of these acts of sabotage and prosecuting all those responsible, both the perpetrators and the instigators. We have done this because we want to shed light on all the circumstances surrounding this piracy, including where the jamming is coming from and who ordered it.
“Geolocation indicates that the pirate transmission jamming the signal originates from within Eritrea. The government must be doing this in order to gag an independent broadcaster it clearly finds very irritating. This should come as no surprise from the rulers of a country ranked last in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index for the past five years.
“But President Issaias Afeworki’s government will not get away with it. The complaint that we have filed points out that this piracy is completely illegal. Neither Radio Erena nor Reporters Without Borders have said their final word.”
The Radio Erena staff and its supporters have been able to repair the damage to the website while mirror sites have been created. But satellite broadcasting has not resumed so the station is not being received in Eritrea or anywhere else in the Horn of Africa.
For the time being Radio Erena is only broadcasting on the Internet, but only the Eritrean diaspora can access the web broadcasts because the Internet is not sufficiently developed in Eritrea.
As a Paris-based radio station, Radio Erena operates under a convention ratified by France’s Higher Council for Broadcasting (CSA). The complaint alleged “disruption of over-the-air broadcasting by an authorized service” and “disruption of an automated data processing system” under article L. 39-1 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code and articles 323-2 and 323-5 of the Criminal Code.
Radio Erena in the French and international press:


Jamming TV satellite broadcasts: Who is doing it, and how?

There has been an increase in the number of complaints about the jamming of satellite TV signals around the world.
Broadcasters such as the BBC, Voice of America, France 24, Deutsche Welle and Al-Jazeera have all seen transmissions of their international programmes jammed recently.
The European Broadcasting Union has accused Iran and Syria of being behind the disruption and of attacking media freedom.
But authorities in Tehran and Damascus say that their broadcasts are also being interfered with.
But how does satellite jamming work? And what can be done about it?
Video produced by Thomas Hannen, with Mike Linstead from BBC Monitoring.
Peter Horrocks
Date: 20.11.2012Last updated: 20.11.2012 at 18.40
Category: World Service
At a conference hosted by the BBC today, broadcasters and satellite operators condemned the sharp increase in jamming of broadcasts, and considered what steps can be taken to address the growing threat of intentional blocking of international broadcasts and internet services.
Article 19 of the universal declaration of human rights states that individuals should have ‘the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’, but this right is not universally respected.
Satellite owner Eutelsat reports that jamming incidents doubled between 2010 and 2011. The number of incidents has increased three fold from 2011 to 2102. From January 2012 to November 2012, 340 incidents have been recorded. The Middle East-based operator Arabsat has recorded an increase in incidents of deliberate jamming of between 2011 and 2012 of nearly three times. Eutelsat estimates that between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of jamming in 2010 originated in Iran. In 2011, the source was mainly Iran with some interference traced to Syria and Bahrain. This year, most of the interference has been traced to Syria, but jamming also continues in Bahrain and Iran. The current regulatory process offers no direct sanction against countries that allow jamming to originate from within their borders.
Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO says: "Today’s meeting adds more weight to the growing voice of condemnation of pollution of the airwaves and the need for decisive action to combat jamming."
Keynote speaker Jamie Saunders, Director International Cyber Policy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, says: “The FCO is a strong supporter of freedom of expression, and we believe that the existing framework of international human rights law is as equally applicable in the digital environment as it is on the off-line world. Specifically, we believe that efforts to block and suppress broadcasting are wrong and are bound to fail over time: we need to understand what more can be done to address deliberate interference, and what part the Government should play.”
Peter Horrocks, Director of Global News at the BBC, says: “Satellite jamming is a growing scourge and a threat to the vital flow of free information. Throughout its history the BBC World Service has countered the efforts of jammers, whether on old shortwave or new satellites. We always called on the guile of the best editorial and technical minds to overcome jamming. Today we do that again to help tackle the menace of jamming."
On the internet, BBC Chinese has been blocked in China since its launch in 1999. BBC Persian has been blocked intermittently from 2006 onwards, and routinely since 2009. The BBC has run pilot services with Psiphon (a Canadian corporation that develops advanced censorship circumvention systems and technologies specifically designed to support users in countries where access to the internet is restricted) to deliver content into China, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan so that people who want to read BBC news are still able to do so. Over one million pages are viewed weekly through the BBC's Psiphon web proxies. In a study commissioned by BBC in Iran, 97 per cent of respondents believed that unmonitored and uncensored access to the Internet is a universal right.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Richard Ottaway MP says: “Gunboat diplomacy is history. Soft power is the future. We live in a globally networked world where human rights abuses cannot hide.”
The International Broadcasting without Barriers Conference brought over 100 delegates from a variety of satellite operators, broadcasters and stakeholders together to consider what political and technical steps that can be taken to make the distribution of media less vulnerable to interference. They face the challenge that jamming is becoming more frequent and there is currently no viable technical solution that can protect direct to home broadcast satellites.
Conference twitter hashtag: #BBCEndJamming


EU demands Iran stop jamming int''l broadcasts

EU demands Iran stop jamming int''l broadcasts
14/11/2012   |   01:57 PM | Gulf News
تصغير الخطتكبير الخط
BRUSSELS, Nov 14 (KUNA) -- The European Union Wednesday accused Iran of jamming broadcast satellites and called on Tehran to stop this "illegal" act.
Since 2009, repeated waves of jamming have affected the signals of European satellites in the Middle East, said Michael Mann, the spokesman of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, in a statement here today.
"Such jamming, whose origin has been traced to Iran in particular, are hampering the broadcast of international media on Iranian territory. The jamming, notably against BBC, Deutsche Welle, France 24, and Voice of America, has intensified since October 15 and obstructs over 500 TV channels and 200 radio channels," it noted.
"This illegal interference with satellite signals is affecting not only broadcasting on Iranian territory, but also international broadcasting to the wider region. The High Representative is highly concerned by such practices," said the statement.
Ashton recalled the regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which forbids states "to carry out unnecessary transmissions, or the transmission of superfluous signals, or the transmission of false or misleading signals, or the transmission of signals without identification." The High Representative calls on Iran to abide by its obligations under the ITU Radio Regulations and to "cooperate in the detection and elimination of harmful interference," added the statement.(end) nk.wsa KUNA 141357 Nov 12NNNN