According to DW.com, a Dutch journalist from RTL Nieuws gained access to the call of the senior representatives.
Daniel Verlaan found the access data from a Twitter post of the Dutch Minister of Defense, Ank Bijleveld. The minister had posted a photo of her working from home while attending the conference.
The post included a photo of the minister’s laptop screen with her EU counterparts. Another image, which was then deleted, showed five digits of a confidential six-digit code needed to access the call.
A Twitter user reported this blunder to RTL Nieuws, prompting Verlaan to try to hack the meeting. Verlaan then said in a Twitter post that he could guess the code “in a few tries”.
– Michiel van Hulten (@mvanhulten) November 20, 2020
After interrupting their video conference, the journalist greeted the ministers, prompting Josep Borrell to ask angrily, “Who are you?” “Now we have to stop the transmission,” Borrell warned, then asked the reporter. “How are you?”.
In the laughter of the audience in the background, the journalist replied: “Hello, I’m fine!”.
“Do you know you’re entering a secret conference?” Josep Borrell responded. “Yes, yes, I’m sorry. I’m a Dutch journalist. I’m sorry I interrupted your conference, I’m leaving “, Daniel Verlaan answered. “It’s a crime, you should break (the connection) before the police arrive,” Borrell said.
After this incident, it is not clear whether the Dutch journalist will face legal consequences. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte later stressed in a press conference that this incident demonstrates that ministers must be extremely careful about the posts they make on social media.