France bars publication of hacked Macron emails ahead of vote

Following release of hacked emails during US presidential election in 2016, France bans publication of Macron's documents.

David Rosenberg ,

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron

On the eve of the French presidential election, election officials are working to bar the publication of potentially embarrassing documents stolen from the frontrunner widely expected to sweep Sunday’s election.

The French National Commission for Control of the Electoral Campaign imposed a ban Friday after campaign of En Marche! founder and chairman Emmanuel Macron claimed it had suffered a “massive hacking attack”.

“The En Marche movement has been a victim of a massive and coordinated hacking attack leading to the spreading this evening on social media of internal information of a diverse nature,” a statement from the En March! campaign read.

French officials have warned media outlets they may face criminal charges for publishing information garnered from the massive digital heist.

Some nine gigabytes of data lifted from Macron’s email account, accounts linked to his campaign, and those of his associates were uploaded to Pastebin on Friday by a user operating under the moniker “EMLEAKS”.

The massive document release took place just hours ahead of the end of official campaigning two days prior to the election.

While En Marche! has confirmed that much of the material uploaded to Pastebin is authentic, party officials added that false material meant to harm the party’s image was added.

“[T]hose circulating these documents are adding many false documents to authentic documents in order to sow doubt and disinformation.”

The Macron campaign blamed the breaches on Russian hackers with links to the Russian government.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the data theft.

The release of En Marche! documents and accusations of Russian attempts to influence the outcome of a presidential election has drawn parallels to the release by Wikileaks of hacked emails taken from the accounts of senior Clinton campaign officials in the midst of the 2016 US presidential election, emails US intel officials believe were stolen by Russian hackers, possibly with the backing of Moscow.

An average of polls on the eve of the French election show Macron leading his opponent, Marine Le Pen, by a 20-point margin, 60-40.