French electoral authorities on Sunday said anyone circulating information leaked after a hacking attack targeting presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron's campaign could be committing a "criminal offence".
"The dissemination of such data, which has been fraudulently obtained and in all likelihood may have been mingled with false information, is liable to be classified as a criminal offence," the electoral commission said in a statement.
"On the eve of the most important election for our institutions, the commission calls on everyone using the internet and social media...not to spread this information," the statement said.
The strict election rules mean neither Macron nor his allies were able to respond to allegations circulated on social media by his opponents in France and abroad. Prior to the midnight ban on Friday, his campaign had released a statement slamming an attempt at "democratic destabilisation".
President François Hollande said French authorities would "respond" to the hacking. During a visit to a cultural centre in Paris on Saturday, he added: "We knew that there were these risks during the presidential campaign because it happened elsewhere."
Please find the full statement by the electoral commission, in French, below.
Date created : 2017-05-06