You didn’t see this one on the news, but you can catch it on StrategyPage:
China got a dose of high tech Information War in the past week when millions of people had their television programming interrupted and replaced with the a picture of a Falungong banner. Thousands of people in the capital also got phone calls that consisted of a five minute recorded message explaining what Falungong is about and criticizing the government’s crackdown. Falungong had apparently hacked into the government controlled telephone system to do this. The television incident was particularly worrying to the government as it was done by literally taking over one of China’s communications satellites.
The hijacking was a bad move by the Falun Gong. The ability to take over a television satellite is so important in a society as controlled as China’s, that it’s an ability you’d want to keep secret until you had to use it. Or, the timing was such that being able to broadcast past government censors gives you a distinct advantage to a lasting gain.
By not waiting, what Falun Gong did was essentially nothing more than a juvenile prank — and alerted Beijing to an important weakness. You can bet the authorities will quickly have the security hole plugged tight.