'Nuclear' TV hackers face trial

Friday, January 4, 2008

A group of Czech artists who inserted a nuclear explosion into a national weather broadcast have been told by a prosecutor they could be sent to jail.

The six hackers are accused of tampering with equipment during a live panoramic shot of mountains last June.

A flash of bright light could be seen followed by a fiery mushroom cloud on the horizon.

The group, who last month won an award from Prague's National Gallery, face charges of spreading false information.


[It was] very unsuitable and could have frightened a lot of people
Czech Television
It was the first time the NG 333 prize for young artists was awarded.

The six, who call themselves "Ztohoven", claim that the aim of the project - called Media Reality - was to show how reality can be manipulated by the media.

They say they are not political and do not intend to intimidate society.

But Czech Television, which broadcast the hacked Panorama programme, said the stunt was "very unsuitable and could have frightened a lot of people".

In order to hack into the broadcast, the group is said to have climbed up a television tower near the Krkonose ("Giant Mountains") in the northern Czech Republic and connected a computer to the camera and broadcast cable.

Ztohoven are no strangers to publicity stunts.
When President Vaclav Havel stepped down in January 2003, they covered up part of a neon heart sculpture in his honour at Prague Castle and turned it into a giant question mark.

A state prosecutor in the northern town of Trutnov said that a trial could start this month.

If found guilty, the six could face a heavy fine or a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

Posted in |
Johan (not verified) Says:
Mon, 2008-01-21 19:37

Interesting that one possibly could put people in jail because they frighten someone (the scary movie bizniz would vanish pretty soon or go underground).

but here is a thought: why not prosecute the pro-nuclear lobby with same arguments. they are indeed scary!

i am not familiar with czech law but what could they actually be charged with?
intrusion in to public service facilities?

prof.dr Ludwik Tomialojc (not verified) Says:
Tue, 2008-01-22 14:23

I am a bit confused because of a form of protest by Czech activists. But, I am sharing the feelings of a hopelessness of all those people of the Earth who want safe future for their children and grandchildren!
A threat of putting Czech activists to jail reflects hipocrisy and increasing ARROGANCY of the ruling groups, observed in many countries.
True threat to humanity do not bring protesting citizens, but the nuclear and military lobby forcing the unsafe nuclear enterprises like Temelin or antiballistic rockets with the help of brain-washing propaganda and autocratic decisions!
Ironically, instead of being on our side, many of the clergymen are (silently or even loudly, and not only in Iran, Russia or USA) backing up dangerous nuclear projects. As if speeding up the Armageddon?

Jeremy Cassidy (not verified) Says:
Fri, 2008-02-15 23:24

Wow, what a great subvert. Very simple very elegant.

The best thing to happen is for the 'authorities' to make a big thing of it and try to prosecute them.

It's similar to the climate camp next to Heathrow in Britain last Summer. The Blessed Airport Authority (BAA) put an exclusion order on the site and thereby prevented a sizable percentage of the British population from even taking public transport to the airport.
They lost their case and enabled the protest camp to gain much greater publicity than they could have hoped for.

So let the madness reveal itself for what it is!!

And remember, it's a funny old world. @;-)