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29 Dec, 2018 22:48

BBC complains to Russia over leaked staff data that was ‘shared with authorities’

BBC complains to Russia over leaked staff data that was ‘shared with authorities’

The BBC has gone out of its way to voice concern over the personal details of its staff in Russia appearing on social media and on a news site, not long after staying puzzlingly silent when UK media doxxed Sputnik staff in the UK.

A list featuring 44 names of BBC employees – with their pictures – published on a couple of Russian social media platforms and a news website did not sit well with the British broadcaster, which lamented “the groundless publication of our Moscow team’s details” and then requested that Russian authorities investigate the matter.

The BBC said it was concerned with this “worrying” and “troubling” development and called it a “leak.” The statement seemed to implicate Russian officials, as the list contained information the broadcaster said it had “shared with the Russian authorities.” The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said that the list seemed to contain open-source data.

Also on rt.com Names of BBC journalists in Russia made public after Sunday Times doxxed & shamed Sputnik staff

Other British media were even less discreet as they spread conspiracy theories, linking the publication of the details to the Kremlin. The “leak … comes a week after Russia said it would launch an investigation into the BBC for violating fairness standards,” the Guardian said in its report, adding that “the information appears to have come from official documentation.”

The Daily Star went further and squarely called the publication a part of a “feud over Salisbury spy coverage” between Moscow and London – right in the headline.

The media buzz around the “leaks,” while understandably concerning for the BBC, has at the same time revealed a glaring contradiction in relation to how the British media handled the doxxing of Sputnik news agency employees in the UK. Not stopping at publishing the journalists’ profiles, The Times newspaper outright called them “Kremlin stooges” in its article.

The story, which appeared days before the Russian BBC list, attempted to shame the journalists for merely working for the Russian media outlet. It even cited a Scottish MP who was calling on the British authorities to seize their assets.

Also on rt.com ‘Harassment that may put lives at risk’: British journalist slams the Times for doxing Sputnik staff

Far from being outraged at the attempt to ostracize alternative media, UK papers seemed to only have gotten really interested in the Sputnik doxxing in the context of Moscow’s perceived “retaliation” to what, some implied, was British media regulator Ofcom targeting RT. No calls to investigate the naming and shaming of Sputnik employees ever followed.

As of Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry hadn’t received any official complaints from the BBC regarding the situation, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

“BBC correspondents in Moscow regularly write or call me when they need something. This time around, no one called for several days,” she wrote on Facebook.

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