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Respekt: PM’s unprotected emails are big mistake

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Prague, Jan 11 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka made a serious mistake when he used an unprotected email account because his private correspondence may be interesting for foreign spies, even if none of the data were classified, Erik Tabery says in weekly Respekt yesterday about the emails that leaked last week.
A week ago, emails from Sobotka´s private account, including communication with his advisers, were released by the White Media extremist website. On Sunday, the extremists released further emails from Sobotka´s account and said still more may be posted on the Internet.
Tabery says the participants in the debate about the stolen emails immediately divided into two camps. One camp claims that politicians have no right to privacy at all because it is in public interest to know about them, while the other camp says one should not be interested in the released emails since they were stolen and especially since the perpetrators were neo-Nazis, Tabery writes.
The White Media racist website violated law and it wanted to discredit the Czech prime minister. The release of Sobotka´s emails does not reveal anything that would benefit Czech society. In other words, the hacking did not bring anything of public interest, Tabery writes.
But it is no solution to refuse to deal with the released emails. It is essential to assess what foreign secret services, the underworld or various organisations gained thanks to the extremist attack, Tabery writes.
Unfortunately, Czech media do not work as a critical analyst of information, but merely as a means that puts on the Internet anything that seems a bit scandalous. As a result, the public could read about politicians who asked Sobotka for posts (unsuccessfully) or about the advice given to Sobotka by his aides. In short, nothing of crucial importance has been revealed so far, Tabery writes.
But one does not know the contents of the emails that the neo-Nazis have not yet released. If it is true that Sobotka gave all of his emails to the police, it must be welcomed because the information leak needs to be checked also from the point of a possible disclosing of confidential information, Tabery writes.
There is no reason for Sobotka to resign over the case, unless any such information is included. The security rules for communication at the Government Office should change, however, Tabery writes.
He says the neo-Nazis did not attack Sobotka by chance.
The neo-Nazis do not like that the prime minister speaks of the refugees flowing to Europe as people fleeing from war and not as colonizers. In case of Sobotka, it is mere rhetorics rather than real aid, but even this minimum openness to the migrants makes the extremists angry, Tabery writes.
The refugees are a substitute issue that becomes a new front where the form of Czech democracy is at stake, he says.
Czech right-wing and left-wing extremists feel that the excited moods in society are their opportunity to gain power. The attack on Sobotka shows that they have no scruples. The situation in Hungary and Poland has undoubtedly increased their appetite because these countries show that the regime can be easily and quickly changed, Tabery writes.
Czech society must decide very soon what face it wants to have, he concludes.

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