Dutch journalist smiles and waves as he gatecrashes top-secret EU Zoom meeting

Dutch journalist smiles and waves as he gatecrashes top-secret EU Zoom meeting

An EU meeting had to be halted after a Dutch journalism gatecrashed a confidential video conference between defence ministers.

Daniel Verlaan of RTL Nieuws popped up in the meeting after Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld tweeted a photo that contained the login address and most of the PIN code for the online event.

After several attempts at guessing the final number in the six-digit pin code Mr Verlaan found himself onscreen with some of the key players from each European country’s governments.

Daniel Verlaan of RTL Nieuws popped up in the meeting after Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld tweeted a photo that contained the login address and most of the PIN code for the online event

Daniel Verlaan of RTL Nieuws popped up in the meeting after Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld tweeted a photo that contained the login address and most of the PIN code for the online event

He waved enthusiastically and was clearly shocked as the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell asked him how he was. He said: ‘Hi, I’m fine, how are you?’ 

‘You know that you have been jumping into a secret conference?’ Mr Borrell said in footage posted online by Michiel van Hulten, a former Member of European Parliament.

‘Yes, yes. I’m sorry. I’m a journalist from the Netherlands. I’m sorry for interrupting your conference,’ Mr Verlaan replied, to laughter from officials. ‘I’ll be leaving here.’

He waved enthusiastically and was clearly shocked as the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell asked him how he was. He said: 'Hi, I'm fine, how are you?'

He waved enthusiastically and was clearly shocked as the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell asked him how he was. He said: ‘Hi, I’m fine, how are you?’

The meeting was quickly ended and a Foreign Affairs Council spokesman told RTL: 'Such a breach is illegal and will be reported to the authorities'

The meeting was quickly ended and a Foreign Affairs Council spokesman told RTL: ‘Such a breach is illegal and will be reported to the authorities’

‘You know it’s a criminal offence, huh?’ Mr Borrell replied. ‘You’d better sign off quickly before the police arrives.’ 

The meeting was quickly ended and a Foreign Affairs Council spokesman told RTL: ‘Such a breach is illegal and will be reported to the authorities.’ 

A Dutch defence ministry spokesperson said tweeting the login details had been a ‘stupid mistake’.

‘This shows how careful you should be careful when sending a picture of a meeting,’ they added.

According to Mr van Hulten, the television station whose journalist intercepted the meeting had warned the Dutch Defence Ministry about the potential security issue, but was told the meeting couldn’t be accessed by pin code alone.

It was then Mr Verlaan decided to put it to the test.  

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