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Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

Phony press release site claims chip titan halted fabs over Gaza conflict

Flag of Israel; credit James Emery

A mischief-making political activist kicked up a stir Thursday with a phony press release claiming Intel was halting operations in Israel – over the bloody war between the nation and the Gaza Palestinian region.

The site, constructed to look like Intel's official newsroom page, claims the chip giant was suspending funding of its Kiryat Gat facility as a form of protest against the country's military actions in Gaza.

The fake release then goes on to offer quotes attributed to CEO Brian Krzanich and Intel Israel president Mooly Eden.

Shortly after word of the purported Intel press statement hit, users on social networks began to spread the news. Messages were posted in support and against the supposed decision by Intel. Then Intel posted an official statement on its genuine press site denying the report:

An unknown individual has sent what purports to be a news release to some members of the media concerning Intel's operations in Israel. This is a hoax. The purported news release does not come from Intel and is false.

An individual calling himself "Nick Veritas" said he constructed the lookalike site and fake press release in a protest against the chipmaker's long-running operations in Israel. In a statement provided to The Reg, he noted that the quotes used in the fake release were passages lifted from the company's own Code of Conduct and Corporate Responsibility Report.

"Intel taking a stand against an out-of-control government would make them a better corporate citizen," Veritas told us.

"I received many calls and emails praising Intel for the decision they made (really did not make). It was a press release that so many were relieved to see, and one that I wished to see."

Public reaction aside, Veritas could be in hot water very soon when the gaze of Chipzilla's lawyers fall on the bogus site. ®

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