December 4, 2020

Homeland Security Suspects Disinformation Campaigns Against COVID-19 Vaccination


The fight against disinformation campaigns – promoted by third countries or powerful organizations – is one of the challenges facing the EU and in which Spain has been collaborating for two years, according to sources from the Department of National Security as a result of the controversy raised by the publication in the Official State Gazette of an action procedure.

There are reasonable doubts as to whether Casado has read a book by George Orwell

There are reasonable doubts as to whether Casado has read a book by George Orwell

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The same sources maintain, contrary to what parties such as PP, Vox and Ciudadanos have denounced, that their protocol does not seek to decide what is news or not, but rather to detect destabilizing disinformation campaigns. And within the framework of that analysis, there are suspicions from the Department of Homeland Security that there are currently campaigns against vaccination against COVID-19. The scope of this misinformation is not limited only to Spain, but has a wider radius.

These sources avoid giving details about this matter as it is sensitive but point out that the European Union is already aware of the problem and points to Russia. Anti-vaccines were recently identified as a threat to national security in the US. In the case of Spain, the Department of National Security does not rule out that it is necessary to respond to these movements later on and that then it requires the collaboration of the media to disseminate messages aimed at combating poisoning. That is the reason, explain the consulted leaders, why the Secretary of State for Communication is a key piece of the procedure published in the BOE, in addition to being the link with the EU’s rapid alert system, the one that controls the relative misinformation as well as the design of communications.

The Government maintains that the procedure for action against disinformation was made official in the BOE because the National Security Council formally approved it a week ago with the introduction of some changes with respect to what had already been done until now: for example, The Executive intends to create a forum for public-private collaboration to advance on this matter in which the media and civil society organizations are represented.

In addition, they maintain that the fight against disinformation has been one of the objectives of the Department of National Security for at least two years and that it responds to a large extent to the impulse that was given in the EU after campaigns observed already in 2014 during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine or because of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. The government maintains that the EU urged member states to promote mechanisms to avoid such changes with an eye on the 2019 European elections. ” The approved procedure is intended to prevent foreign interference in electoral processes, as well as to detect campaigns promoted from abroad that may harm the national interests of our country, “Moncloa said in a statement released on Thursday, hours after the publication of the BOE and when the controversy had already broken out.

Leaders who know the results of the analyzes carried out by National Security emphasize that in none of the electoral processes of the past year in Spain was any type of interference detected. The same sources point out that there have been other types of matters related to national sovereignty.

“In no case will it monitor, censor or limit the free and legitimate right of the media to offer their information,” explained the note sent late in the afternoon after the controversy raised by the order published in the BOE, which was immediately rejected by the PP, which requested the appearance of Iván Redondo, as head of National Security in the presidency of the Government, and of the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, whose department was in charge of publishing it in the BOE. Vox called the initiative a “ministry of truth” in reference to Orwell’s novel 1984.

However, the department in charge of national security, which is piloted by General Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, assures that the Administration will in no case be in charge of determining whether there is false news in the media but that what they face is the campaigns orchestrated by third parties abroad which are generally much more sophisticated than fake news punctual, which will be followed, however, in case it is another element of the disinformation campaign. In addition, these sources assure that they do not analyze partisan questions of domestic politics but rather focus on what could damage the security of the country.

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