Friday, November 26

The Court admits the appeal of the PP against the ‘Ministry of Truth’

Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Casado at a meeting in Moncloa in September

Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Casado at a meeting in Moncloa in September

The National High Court has admitted to processing the contentious-administrative appeal presented by the Popular Party against the body created by the coalition government chaired by Pedro Sánchez to fight misinformation and fake news and that the popular ones define as a ‘Ministry of Truth‘.

Deputies of the Popular Parliamentary Group presented on the 26th the appeal against the order by which the action procedure against disinformation is published approved by the National Security Council and published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on November 5 .

According to this new procedure, The Executive will monitor the information and may request collaboration from the media of communication to pursue the “deliberate, large-scale and systematic dissemination of disinformation, which seeks to influence society for self-serving and spurious purposes.”

After the admission for processing of this appeal last Tuesday and its notification to the parties, the National Court has requested the Ministry of the Presidency to send the administrative files on said order within a period of twenty days, according to the resolution to which Europa Press had access.

The Government, through the General State Attorney, has a period of five days to file an appeal replacement. After which, as popular sources have indicated to Europa Press, the formation led by Pablo Casado will present the lawsuit in which he will present the arguments of the appeal.

At the same time, the PP launched a campaign on networks to denounce “that Ministry of Truth”, with videos in which members of the party could be seen with their mouths covered and a tape of “censored content” as well as a simulation of censored news from different media.

The party’s general secretary, Teodoro García Egea, explained this week that there are “two ways” to fight misinformation and interference. “One, that it is the president’s chief of staff who decides what is true and what is a lie, and another to make a parliamentary commission,” he said.

Thus, García Egea explained that the aforementioned commission would have “the press, editors, journalists, parliamentary groups and society in general”, and in it they could “articulate mechanisms to combat interference“, using the means that” technology puts “at your service.

Detect interference

Moncloa has stressed on several occasions that the objective of the action procedure against disinformation does not intend to control the information published by the media communication or monitor the veracity of the news, but detect foreign interference that seek to influence Spanish public opinion.

Likewise, it has defended that the entire procedure is in the hands of technicians, who are in charge of informing the Government if a disinformation campaign is detected so that the answer is decided, if the European Union is informed or the collaboration of the media.

The Department of Homeland Security has already two years working on detecting disinformation, urged by the European Union, and the new procedure aims to include in the organization chart the media and other civil organizations to which the Government could resort, through the Secretary of State for Communication, in the case of need to fight one of these campaigns.

Since 2018, National Security experts have detected in Spain some very important disinformation campaign from abroad, but not related to successive electoral processes that were held in 2019.

Yes, these campaigns to influence public opinion have been verified in other processes abroad, such as the referendum on Brexit, the French presidential elections in which Emmanuel Macron won or the 2016 United States elections for which Donald Trump reached the White House.

Currently the European Union suspects a disinformation campaign against the Covid-19 vaccine and the case could come of having to combat it through a response that is articulated through the media.

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