A Regulation for disinformation?
Disinformation is a hot topic at the moment with fears of outside electoral interference building ahead of the European Elections. On 20 February, Microsoft announced that it had discovered cyberattacks against several institutions, think-tanks, and non-profit organisations in Europe. The affected institutions included the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of The Aspen Institute and The German Marshall Fund.
The European Commission has pushed platforms to make the internet a safer place by fighting disinformation. Failure to do so will almost certainly lead to a regulation in the area of disinformation.
In a recent paper, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) recommends that EU Member States consider “introducing national legislation to tackle the challenges associated with online disinformation.” Combined with EU efforts to regulate social media and online platforms, this would “ensure a harmonised approach across the EU to tackling online disinformation aimed at undermining the democratic process.”
In the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt said “We can’t carry on like this. The case for regulation is overwhelming” ALDE leader Verhofstadt tweeted that “the integrity of upcoming European Elections and our democracies is at risk.” Moves to regulate tech platforms to prevent ‘disinformation’ will be strongly resisted by the tech industry lobby.