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Monday, July 28, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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"I've been hacked!" Moonilal angry over PNM e-mail leak exposing anti-Rowley campaign
Accusing the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) of hacking into his e-mail, United National Congress (UNC) deputy leader Roodal Moonilal says he’s turning over to his attorney the issue of certain e-mails the PNM revealed on a San Juan platform on Thursday night. He made the comment yesterday when reporters asked if he was turning it over to the police. He noted that it is a crime to be involved in any illegal activity to intercept telephone conversations, e-mails, Blackberry Messages (BBMS) et cetera.
“I’ll be referring this matter to my attorney and will take the advice on it,” Moonilal said.
At the San Juan public meeting on Thursday, the PNM’s Camille Robinson-Regis read out e-mails allegedly to and from Moonilal’s e-mail address. They included a positive reply from that address to a proposal from UNC activist and businessman Phillip Alexander, who had pitched an idea for a show to raise Government’s profile on the state-owned TV station CNMG.
Robinson-Regis also read another e-mail on a People’s Partnership (PP) campaign allegedly involving targeting PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley. This was said to be from UNC campaign manager Rodney Charles to 17 people, including UNC officials, ministers, activists, two T&T representatives in the UK and Canada, a Communications Ministry staff member, a former Caribbean Airlines (CAL) board member and a director of a Canadian campaign management and PR firm.
Asked about the e-mails allegedly exchanged between himself and Alexander, Moonilal said, “Anyone who has a proposal or plan on politics or elections, I invite them to discuss with me. I say no more, no less, but it appears my private e-mail is subject to hacking by the PNM.”
Moonilal said he receives over 100 e-mails daily to which he gives short replies.
“So I’d have received this (Alexander’s e-mails) and asked him to discuss with me any proposals or plan he has.”
He added, “But we’ve developed into a cyber-space Gestapo society where people cannot send e-mails, text messages or BBMs without fear of being intercepted.
“I’m extremely disturbed the PNM in Opposition has this capacity to intercept e-mails and are involved in some type of hacking into computer systems that allow them to have private and confidential e-mails sent to ministers and citizens.
“It’s a development that is extremely frightening for the citizens that the Opposition PNM can wave e-mails of a private and confidential matter on political platforms. It means we’re not safe to send communications on any matter on politics or society.”
Moonilal said Rowley “should disassociate himself from this attempt at hacking into the computers of state officials and ministers. He should indicate clearly he’s not associated with this and knows no one associated with this hacking.”
“This isn’t a singular matter. Dr Rowley came to Parliament with e-mails which he fabricated. He left that to the police,” Moonilal added in reference to the “E-mailgate” scandal revealed in Parliament by Rowley last May. He also accused PNM senator and public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi of having “a document he clearly got from somewhere. Now you have interception of communication by those in Opposition.”
He said Alexander is a known blogger in the public space.