Dutch journalist gatecrashes confidential European Union defence video conference

A still from the meeting video

A still from the meeting video

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A Dutch journalist gatecrashed a confidential videoconference of European Union defense ministers on Friday, reportedly thanks to information posted on the Dutch defense minister's Twitter account.

RTL Nieuws said reporter Daniel Verlaan logged into a secure meeting of European defence ministers after getting a login address and partial pin code off a picture posted of Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld. He then apologised and left the group after Borrell told him it was a secret meeting and that he had better go before the police arrived.

The video published by the broadcaster shows EU's Josep Borrell asking "Who are you?" and noting the call has been "intercepted".

The journalist replied: "I'm fine, how are you?"

Mr Verlaan said: "Yes, yes".

"Yes, I'm sorry, I'm a journalist from the Netherlands", Verlaan replied. "I'm sorry for interrupting your conference", Verlaan's responded, to laughter from the ministers in the background. "I'll be leaving here".

"You know it's a criminal offence, huh?"

Throughout the exchange, laughter can be heard coming from a lot of participants. Borrell said, appearing lighthearted but not entirely amused.

The meeting was subsequently stopped because the confidential nature could no longer be guaranteed.

She posted a photograph on Twitter of herself attending the meeting without realising she would be uncovering five of six numbers of the secret code needed to access the meeting. "Minister Bijleveld shared a photo of the meeting with part of the pin code, which could be guessed with a few tries".

"The photo was then deleted".

"We have all the time been conscious of, and have warned that, videoconferences. are vulnerable from a security point of view", the official said, adding this was one reason they are "not formal Council meetings and no classified matters can be discussed".

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