Russia Today, the Kremlin-financed English-language news network, took over C-SPAN’s primary online feed for roughly 10 minutes on Thursday afternoon.
“We do not believe we were hacked,” the network said late Thursday in a statement via Twitter. “Instead, our initial investigation suggests that this was caused by an internal routing error. We take our network security very seriously and will continue with a deeper investigation.”
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 (which we regularly monitor, along with many other news feeds).”
Russia Today is financed and run by the Russian government.
Check out the moment is occurred:
Here's the moment Russia Today took over the C-SPAN1 feed. Unclear what happened. RT aired for about ten minutes before C-SPAN1 came back. pic.twitter.com/mhWVgCoFxF
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 12, 2017
C-Span issued the following statement:
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 12, 2017
Later Thursday, C-SPAN posted a follow-up.
Statement from C-SPAN about January 12 Online Signal Interruption pic.twitter.com/dlkSOntJgz
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 13, 2017
Any hack of an American’s public service network would obviously be significant 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 last week 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.