European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said, on Wednesday, that the United States should play a more active role in combating Russian propaganda and disinformation online due to the threat to democracy.
Jourova said manipulation of information was a weapon that was grossly underestimated.
“Most of the time, it’s a lot quieter. There’s rarely an explosion. And it’s potentially more dangerous, especially for democracies.”
Jourova said she wanted to extend a helping hand to the United States to cooperate with Europe, according to the text of the letter seen by Reuters.
“I think for the United States, as the cradle of both democracies 200 years ago and the dotcom or tech revolution about 20 years ago, the time for inaction is over,” Jourova will say.
In the past, people said that democracy dies in silence. Today, democracies may die in noise and cacophony.”
Washington has imposed sanctions on some Russian state-run TV stations, which it says have spread disinformation to promote Russia’s war in Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation”.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, some Russian state media have been banned from operating in the United States and some other Western countries due to sanctions or the revocation of broadcast licenses, moves Moscow says show a disregard for media freedom.
Jourova said the United States and Europe should co-create a response to Russian propaganda and the digital Wild West, beyond their cooperation at the G7 and the Trade and Technology Council, a newly created forum initially seen as a transatlantic counterweight to China, but now also focused on Russia .
As a transatlantic, I see a significant role for the United States in addressing these digital risks to democracy. We are facing similar problems, so it would be logical to find similar solutions,” Jourova said.
Regarding Europe’s efforts on the issue, Jourova cited tough new EU rules that require big tech companies to crack down on fake news known as the Digital Services Act and a code of practice on misinformation that Alphabet Inc, Facebook and Twitter have subscribed to. .
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