Prime Minister Robert Abela has condemned a growing disinformation campaign targeting journalists and politicians and revealed that he himself has been targeted. 

In a statement on Monday, the Office of the Prime Minister said Abela had been targeted on August 15 when emails masquerading as his own were sent to local reporters, including a Times of Malta journalist. 

The government said a report was immediately filed with the Malta Information and Technology Agency (MITA).

The prime minister will be calling on the National Cyber Crime Committee to look into the matter and to draft proposals to counter such activity. The committee is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the implementation of the National Cyber Security Strategy.   

“The fact that in recent days there have been attempts to spread articles specifically intended to mislead the public is of concern,” the statement reads. 

“These acts are not only condemnable but have no place in society.”

Blogger Manuel Delia, NGO Repubblika, Opposition leader Bernard Grech and MP Jason Azzopardi have also been targeted using fake email chains and spoofed websites.

The fraudulent websites, which mimic news sites Newsbook, Net News, LovinMalta and TVM,  all appear to be sowing doubt in the prosecution against Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech and attacking the credibility of some of his most vocal critics.

A demonstration against the widespread disinformation campaign targeting journalists and activists will be held outside the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday evening.  

The demonstration is being jointly organised by Repubblika, #occupyjustice and Manuel Delia.  

Repubblika president Robert Aquilina and Delia have both been promised police protection after Aquilina said he had been warned by a Labour politician concerned for his safety to “be careful”. 

In an opinion piece, Delia also expressed concerns for his safety, saying he will soon be unable afford the time, the cost or the energy it takes to calm his family’s frayed nerves about whether this electronic violence could turn physical at some point.

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