C-SPAN says an “internal routing error” caused last Thursday’s interruption of its online feed, when the Kremlin-financed English-language news network Russia Today took over C-SPAN’s primary online feed for roughly 10 minutes.
“C-SPAN has concluded its investigation and as we had anticipated last Thursday, the interruption of our C-SPAN.org livestream on January 12th was caused by an internal routing error,” the network said in a statement to TheWrap.
“C-SPAN.org was not hacked. We have determined that during testing for inaugural coverage, RT’s signal was mistakenly routed onto the primary encoder feeding C-SPAN1’s signal to the internet, rather than to an unused backup.”
The network noted that the mishap — which occurred during a speech by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) around 2:30 p.m. ET — “did not affect C-SPAN’s television broadcast.” Instead, it was a disruption in one of the network’s online feed which was “briefly interrupted by a signal carrying the RT network.”
The timing of the incident had led many to suspect an external hack of the network since it came on the heels of allegations that Russia attempted to manipulate the presidential election to favor Donald Trump — in part by using Russia Today as its English-language propaganda arm.
According to a report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the RT network’s coverage of Hillary Clinton was “consistently negative,” accusing the Democratic candidate of “corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism.”
C-SPAN’s mission is to provide “access to the live gavel-to-gavel proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and to other forums where public policy is discussed, debated and decided-all without editing, commentary or analysis and with a balanced presentation of points of view,” according to the network’s website.