07 Jun

FAKE NEWS. Are they a threat to National Security?

By Global Institute for Cybersecurity Technologies

The world of information hugely changed in the last 20 years, our interaction with it followed the trend but, at a basic level, our readiness to manage it fell behind. This left us vulnerable. Consequently, various forces in today’s world are taking advantage of these vulnerabilities.

The real-life effects of this vulnerability can be found in tampered elections results in not less than 18 countries, just in 2017. This can’t come as a surprise. A recent study on six Central and Eastern European countries found out that an average of 10% of the citizens trust online disinformation outlets as relevant sources of information, with a pick of 31% in Romania. The same findings were brought up by a 2018 EU Commission Study on Fake News and Disinformation Online.

EU’s “Strategic Communication” effort will always be a Sisyphean task as long as we don’t address the underlying causes and this must be done in a coordinated manner, covering all 28 MS. Let’s not forget that, within the European Union, the vulnerability of one is the vulnerability of all.

Against fake news there is no silver bullet. No institution or company can fight it completely. The answer lies in a joint effort which must involve policymakers, institutions, big and small private companies, media, civil society, and, probably the most important – a dedicated effort on long-term from the education system.

Bearing these considerations in mind, the Global Institute for Cybersecurity Technologies initiated a series of events that will bring light on two aspects:

  • what is the vulnerability level and how serious is the threat
  • what is the appropriate answer at both Member States and EU level

FAKE NEWS. Are they a threat to National Security?” is the first of these events and it will take place on 15th of June, in Bucharest, at Athénée Palace Hilton Hotel.

Organized by the Global Institute for Cybersecurity Technologies in partnership with the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament, with the support of EVZ.RO and CAPITAL.RO as media partners and Logika IT Solutions as IT partner, this one-day panel debate gathers representatives of all the major stakeholders relative to the topic of fake news and hybrid war: European Commission, European Parliament, National Agencies from the Member States, NATO, International think-tanks, private companies, mass-media, and academia.

The event’s draft agenda can be accessed here.

The attendance will be enriched by the representatives of the National Parliament, the Government, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Communications and Information Society, Intelligence Service, National Companies, United Nations, and the Diplomatic Corps – institutions which will be officially invited to the event.

Due to the limited number of places, attendance is possible only with prior registration. To register, please email us at contact@gict.tech

The roundtable discussions will generate several outcomes:

  • a printed collection of written materials, covering the discussed topic from various perspectives, to be circulated among MEPs, decision makers inside the European Commission, the Member States and relevant Institutions
  • a legislative proposal which will be presented to the European Parliament
  • a public consultation process, focused on the roundtable conclusions, to take place in all the 28 MS languages, targeted at professionals, policymakers, mass-media, influencers and other stakeholders from the educational system and industry
  • awareness pilot project in schools, in one Member State (Romania), in partnership with IT companies
  • an IT pilot project built to assist the public in its protection against fake news and manipulation
  • a follow-up process in relation with the European Commission for a sooner than later drafting of a regulation proposal
  • a follow-up roundtable “One year after” with a report on the marked progress