The governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) said yesterday that an email address linked to the party had been hacked into and a missive sent from it allegedly threatening the life of columnist and talk show host Christopher Ram; the party has initiated a police investigation.
“The party remains firm that it will not encourage or condone such behaviour but is also perplexed at the shallow effort to link the PPP/C, by whoever was involved in issuing the threats,” the PPP said in a statement last night.
“As such the party is encouraging the Guyana Police Force to conduct a thorough investigation, given that the origins of such mails can be tracked and to hold the individual(s) responsible accountable for their actions. We trust that the GPF will leave no stone unturned…,” the statement said adding that it was not the first time such action was taken to attract negative publicity towards the party.
The PPP/C statement said there is an ongoing malicious campaign by unknown individual or individuals “to distract from the growing resentment by Guyanese against recent developments in the National Assembly.” The party was referring to the approximately $21 billion in cuts that the opposition made in the Parliament during the consideration of the estimates, which concluded on Thursday.
The party said only a few days ago, a senior opposition member alleged in the National Assembly that there were threats to his life and sought to unjustly imply that the PPP was somehow involved. That statement referred to Moses Nagamootoo who alleged that on leaving the PPP, he was told that he may meet the same fate as Vincent Teekah, a minister in the former PNC government who had been killed years ago.
“However, the PPP is keen that such effort to derail and distract the public from the real issues at hand does not succeed…,” the statement said.
The party said it sought advice from IT experts after it received a copy of the email in question from members of the media and was advised that it was a clear case of email address spoofing.
According to the statement, there are many ways to manipulate the mail header, and “from” address and even the route, to make it appear to have come from a particular address.
“In this particular instance it appears as though someone is spoofing the PPP/C Gmail address and from the looks of it several other addresses of known individuals as well.
“Additionally, the PPP/C has also been receiving abusive messages apparently originating from Ena Ram’s email address [wife of Christopher Ram] for which we have documented evidence and it is quite possible that her address has also been likewise spoofed by whoever is responsible for such despicable and illegal acts,” it said.
“Similar threats including to the lives of PPP/C officials have also been received purporting to come from addresses of a certain anti-government newspaper, a former opposition talk show host and a malicious anti-government blog site among others,” the PPP/C said in the statement.
The statement said such actions are designed to create unnecessary tension and the PPP/C is convinced that the agents provocateurs will not succeed in their sinister campaign.