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Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Spanish Ministry of Truth

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The Spanish Ministry of Truth

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On September 15th, 2020 the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the Draft Bill of Democratic Memory that will punish those who disagree with the official version of the country’s civil war history.

Now, Spain has started the process of establishing an Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Carmen Calvo, Spanish Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, has just published the “action procedure against disinformation approved by the National Security Council”.

The government formed by Socialists and Communists plans a frontal attack on all the media that aren’t in line with its interests and the persecution of those that it considers to spread fake news.

The Official State Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado, BOE) announced on November 5th, 2020 that “the access to truthful and diverse information is one of the pillars that sustain democratic societies.”

“Public institutions and administrations must ensure that access, because it is the instrument that allows citizens to form an opinion about different political and social issues”. Freedom of expression must be strengthened “by examining the freedom and pluralism of the media.”

The problem is that although “freedom of expression and the right to information are enshrined as fundamental rights in our Constitution”, the State will be responsible for fighting against “deliberate, large-scale and systematic dissemination of disinformation which seeks to influence society for selfish and spurious reasons.”

For this purpose, the following objectives have been established:

-To identify and define the organs, agencies and authorities of the system

-To establish the levels of prevention, detection, early warning, analysis, response and evaluation

-To describe the specific tasks involved for the levels established in the fight against disinformation

-To define the mechanisms established for the exchange of information at the strategic, operational and technical levels

-To determine the mechanisms for evaluating the implementation and operation of the procedure

-To define a methodology for the identification, analysis and management of disinformation events

-To propose the framework and composition of an ad hoc working groups for the elaboration and revision of a National Strategy to Fight Disinformation.

To carry out this form of censorship, Calvo’s Ministry will ask for help from the following organizations: the National Security Council, the Situation Committee, the Secretariat of State for Press, the Permanent Commission against Disinformation, the competent public authorities, the private sector and civil society.

Calvo’s portfolio bases itself on the European Democracy Action Plan to increase electoral integrity and guarantee free and fair electoral systems, to examine the means used to interfere in democratic systems and to fight disinformation about the coronavirus and electoral processes.

It will operate at national level to detect low-impact disinformation campaigns that may be related to information about the European Union (EU).

Collaboration with its Strategic Communications Division (StratComs) will focus on the identification and analysis of disinformation events, especially of those that have close links with Spain or affect it in an evident way.

The exchange of good practices and procedures with other EU members within the framework of working groups will improve the detection and analysis of disinformation campaigns.

The Secretary of State for Press will be the only part to handle the exchange of information about disinformation campaigns through the EU’s Rapid Alert System (RAS). After approval by the pertinent Commission, the passing of reports to the RAS will be assessed.

In order to support decision-making at the political level, information will be exchanged through the Secretariat. Further decision-making and coordination at the political level will be the responsibility of the National Security Council.

If this sounds like Orwellian doublespeak to you, you are very right. The flowery words cant’ hide the true intentions of those who are slowly turning democracies into dictatorships. The pandemic offers a perfect excuse to further curtail basic rights.

As the hateful campaign against Donald Trump’s reelection has shown, the West is abandoning some of its most sacred principles and no longer in the position of rightfully criticizing China, Iran or Russia.

Politically correct censorship has become the norm in many nations that consider themselves freedom-loving and indulge in telling others what to do and how to handle their affairs, regardless of their cultural background. Such obvious hypocrisy worries and amazes me at the same time!

The whole problem can’t be seen as a hypothetical threat looming in the future anymore. I have fallen victim to the guardians of the absolute truth myself and witnessed their actions twice in the last week. That’s why I’m not very optimistic about the future…

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