by Miceál O’Hurley
DUBLIN – It is with great regret that I have to inform readers that the many hours of interviews with Ambassadors and others I conducted, created, edited, produced and stored on a Youtube channel I created have been deleted. Working with YouTube, it appears at this time that the email address I used to create the Channel was used, without my knowledge or permission, to change the password to the YouTube account and delete the content or otherwise asserted ownership over my copyrighted content and intellectual property in order to deprive me of it.
The videos, which represented countless hours of my work, are a great loss to me as a journalist as they represent my personal creation and work product.
However, having heard from several Embassies and diplomats, I know how injurious this is to you who have relied on those video links to provide information to other diplomats, ministers, politicians, academics and others. I regret that the person(s) who deleted the content I created have acted in such a way as to interfere with the fulfilment of your diplomatic missions by removing my content and leaving you without the contributions you made as part of your outreach, messaging and mission fulfilment. I simply don’t know why someone would seek to damage innocent parties in this way. To those ministries, embassies, professionals, academics, institutions and people who have shared and tagged the content I can only sympathise with the loss of the content and waste of work that went in to creating the links, etc. and now having to go back and try to correct the content.
I will work to find a solution to this problem and regret that the States, Embassies and persons who appeared in the videos have suffered a loss and I can only assume that was intended. YouTube has indicated that there was no assertion of copyright by third parties and no proceedings were issued to for YouTube to remove the content. It appears my email was used, without my knowledge or permission, by someone passing themselves off as me, to unlawfully gain access to the channel to remove or destroy the content. It is unclear at this time if this is a hacking event or related to my recent panel appearance where I addressed hybrid warfare or malicious conduct by an individual(s) or some other, yet to be determined reason. As YouTube has indicated it is not a technical problem, an investigation will have to be undertaken. I am taking this matter seriously and will be working with YouTube and An Garda Síochána and others necessary to determine how my email was used to access my copyrighted content and remove it surreptitiously.
Thank you again to all of the Ambassadors and other diplomats, academics and professionals who have participated in interviews in good faith only to now find yourselves at a loss by someone whose actions seemingly were seemingly meant to disrupt the activities, messaging, information and property that play a part in advocacy, conflict resolution and the promotion of peace. Thank you for making me aware of the videos having been deleted from YouTube without my knowledge or permission. I will keep you updated on efforts to find a solution.