Dutch journalist gatecrashes confidential video call of EU’s defence ministers

 indianexpress.com  11/22/2020 05:05:33 
By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 22, 2020 10:35:33 am
Verlaan appeared visibly surprised and began waving enthusiastically when he realised that he had been let into the call. (Photo: Twitter/DanielVerlaan)

A virtual meeting of defence minister from the European Union (EU) was briefly halted after a Dutch journalist managed to gatecrash the confidential video call.

The reporter, Daniel Verlaan of RTL Nieuws, said that he gained access to the call after Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld accidentally posted the first five digits of the six-digit pin code needed to join the online meet, BBC reported.

Dat is weer eens wat anders, vergaderen met de #EU #defensie collegas, vanachter de keukentafel… #quarantaine @JosepBorrellF @NLatEU @EU2020DE pic.twitter.com/ea24vzOz7e

 Ank Bijleveld (@MinBijleveld) November 20, 2020

It did not take Verlaan many attempts to crack the code as he found himself onscreen with several of the EUs top ministers, including foreign policy chief Josep Borrell  who appeared to be caught off guard by the intrusion.

That @danielverlaan hack of the EU defence ministers’ meeting? This is how it looked from the inside. Comedy gold. pic.twitter.com/1qvVYKsDpt

 Michiel van Hulten (@mvanhulten) November 20, 2020

Verlaan appeared visibly surprised and began waving enthusiastically when he realised that he had been let into the call. You know that you have been jumping into a secret conference? Borrell is heard asking the journalist in a video of the conference shared widely on social media.

Yes, yes. I’m sorry. I’m a journalist from the Netherlands. I’m sorry for interrupting your conference, Verlaans responded, to laughter from the ministers in the background. I’ll be leaving here.

You know it’s a criminal offence, huh? Borrell joked, suppressing a smile. You’d better sign off quickly before the police arrives.

nieuws: ik kreeg toegang tot een geheim online overleg tussen de Europese ministers van Defensie van de 27 landen.

Minister Bijleveld deelde een foto van de meeting met een deel van de pincode, die met een paar pogingen kon worden geraden.https://t.co/sSOOMWPIHK pic.twitter.com/NLO3SpBsPb

 Danil Verlaan (@danielverlaan) November 20, 2020

But not everyone took the incident lightly. A spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Council told RTL News that the breach would be reported to the authorities, BBC reported. Meanwhile, a Dutch defence ministry spokesperson said tweeting the pin had been a stupid mistake.

This shows how careful you should be careful when sending a picture of a meeting, they said. Along with a photograph of Dutch Defense Minister Bijlevelds laptop screen, where her other EU counterparts were visible, a part of the pin had also been accidentally shared from the ministers account.

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