Denmark has prepared a new plan to counter the Russian disinformation and fake news campaigns, with a view of the upcoming 2019 parliamentary elections. In includes 11 initiatives
Denmark prepares to counter the Russian disinformation and fake news campaigns with a new plan, with a view of the upcoming 2019 parliamentary elections. The government revealed an action plan of 11 initiatives, which concern the general work by public authorities to counter influence campaigns, secure the vote itself, council the main actors of the election and initiate closer cooperation with relevant actors in media and social media. In its Intelligence Risk Assessment from 2017, Danish Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS, Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste) assesses that it is likely that Russian influence campaigns will pose an increased threat against Denmark. The country could with short notice or no notice at all be targeted with tailored campaigns. It is in this regard likely that Russia’s strengthened influence operations in for instance the Baltic states, Sweden and Finland also will lead to an increased focus on Denmark.
DSIS/PET: Russia is currently conducting targeted influence campaigns in the West and Danish Security Intelligence Service has observed activities in the country
Danish Security Intelligence Service (Politiets Efterretningstjeneste, DSIS/PET) has in its report for 2017 stated that influence campaigns are a special type of subversive state-initiated activity. They can consist of different activities, all aimed at influencing the formation of public opinion and the political decision-making process in a direction that serves the interest of a given state. Russia is currently conducting targeted influence campaigns in the West and Danish Security Intelligence Service has observed activities in Denmark, which are comparable with the development seen in other countries in the Nordic-Baltic region. Those campaigns can include attempts to spread untrue information and stories in the media or to create a distorted coverage of a topic, in order to influence an important political decision. These kind of infowar actions are often designed to create discord amongst the population and seek to undermine the trust in for instance elections or public institutions.
The 11 initiatives of the Danish action plan against the Russian disinformation and fake news campaigns. From the inter-governmental task force to the strenghtened focus by DSIS/PET-DDIS over hostile foreign influence campaigns
- The Government has set up an inter-governmental task force, which has strengthened the authorities’ coordination and efforts in countering influence campaigns, including with regard to Danish elections. Drawing on experiences from abroad, a number of initiatives have been launched in order to increase capacities in the relevant authorities and to develop concrete countermeasures.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a strengthened monitoring of disinformation in the media directed at Denmark and will – inspired by other Nordic countries – initiate training for communication officers from government authorities on the ongoing handling of disinformation.
- The Danish Security Intelligence Service (DSIS-PET) and the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS) strengthen their focus on hostile foreign actors targeting Denmark with influence campaigns, including with regard to the upcoming parliamentary elections.
From the cooperation of Economic Affairs and Interior Ministeries with DSIS and DDIS/The Centre for Cyber Security (CFCS) to the counselling to all political parties eligible on the cyber security
- The Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Interior will in cooperation with DSIS and DDIS/The Centre for Cyber Security (CFCS) ensure that the necessary threat and vulnerability assessments are conducted in relation to the election.
- The Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Interior’s response with regard to the election will have an increased focus on threats posed by potential foreign influence. The work will be organised in close cooperation with the appointed inter-governmental task force, especially DSIS and DDIS/CFCS.
- The Government will offer all political parties eligible to be elected to Parliament counselling on the risk of foreign influence in relation to the upcoming parliamentary elections, including cyber-attacks, and on the options for countering such influence and attacks. The counselling will be offered through the national security authorities (DSIS and DDIS/CFSC).
The dialogue and cooperation with all political party leaders, the media and social media against the Russian infowar with regard to the upcoming parliamentary elections
- The Government will invite all political party leaders to a meeting to inform about the risk of foreign influence with regard to the upcoming parliamentary elections.
- The Government will invite representatives from the media to a dialogue on possible models for cooperation on countering potential foreign attempts to influence the upcoming parliamentary elections. This will happen with full respect for the central principles of a free and independent press.
- The Government will invite representatives from prevalent social media platforms to a dialogue on possible models for cooperation on countering potential foreign attempts to influence the upcoming parliamentary elections. This initiative will amongst other things be based on experiences from other countries.
The importance to raise the awareness about the threat amongst the population and to update the Danish criminal code
- The Government will invite media with public service obligations to a dialogue on models for cooperation on countering potential foreign attempts on influencing the upcoming parliamentary elections. One of the aims being to raise awareness about the threat amongst the population.
- The Government will present a bill to ensure that the criminal code is up to date to protect Denmark against the threat from influence campaigns launched by foreign intelligence services.