In March 2012, Michael McFaul, then the U.S. ambassador to Russia, famously accused journalists from the state-controlled network NTV
of hacking his phone or e-mails to access his schedule after they approached him as he arrived at a private meeting with an opposition activist.Four years later, those same journalists have been purportedly tripped up in a sting operation by an embattled Russian election-monitoring group seeking to prove that security services are wiretapping its phones and leaking details of its meetings with foreign diplomats to the Kremlin-loyal network.
Golos, an independent election monitor that has documented widespread violations at Russian ballot boxes in recent years, says it has concluded that NTV journalists are surreptitiously obtaining information about its employees’ movements from Russian law enforcement or intelligence agencies.
Using this information, Golos alleges, the journalists are able to track the group’s itinerary and wait for them -- cameras and microphones in hand -- outside embassies and other Moscow venues where they meet foreign diplomats to discuss the country’s elections. more