Germany’s Battle Against Misinformation
Online censorship is increasing. Part of this censorship is a coordinated effort by governments around the world to reduce misinformation online. While this effort, in part, helps prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and radical Islamic propaganda, some fear that truth is also being suppressed.
A key institute that helps determine “truth” from “misinformation” is the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (isd). In 2006, political leaders from the United Kingdom, France and Germany founded isd. Today, the institute is located in the UK.
Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, isd founded its Digital Policy Lab (dpl) in November 2020, which coordinates with different governments to achieve its goal of “safeguarding democracy.” It is one of the core tools used by governments, media outlets and companies to help identify misinformation and hate speech online. The Digital Policy Lab includes representation from government agencies from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union Commission.
What exactly does the isd want to have censored?
Following the elections in several dpl countries, in 2021 a special session focused on the range of harms impacting the integrity of elections, providing an overview of the complex threat environment, from extremism, targeted harassment of politicians and election workers, to disinformation and conspiracy theories. Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a special session reflected on platform responses to information manipulation regarding the invasion of Ukraine.
There are real threats out there. But if governments fund an institution to help fight views that are critical of themselves, one needs to be concerned. While isd does claim to fight anti-Semitism and terrorist networks online, it has shifted its focus more toward fighting misinformation in regards to elections and the Ukraine war. In doing so, it promotes various liberal trends and seeks to suppress views that oppose liberal government policies. According to the Capital Research Center’s website: “The isd has been accused of suppressing conservative views online by erroneously labeling mainstream views as misinformation.”
There are concerns about hate speech and misinformation online, but we have to watch Germany’s desire to regulate information. Its involvement is part of a bigger effort to control the Internet.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (gdpr), which regulates the processing of personal data relating to individuals in the EU, had a major impact on companies around the world. As the law was introduced in 2019, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained that gdpr reveals Germany’s desire to control the Internet (read “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet” for more information).
Through various pieces of legislation, the EU now has extraordinary influence in the homes of Internet users and within every corporation and government on Earth. The EU is waging a campaign of technological imperialism, and most people don’t even know it! While a lot of this legislation is created by the EU, the ultimate source of this global effort to undermine the United States’ domination of the tech industry and control of the Internet is Germany.
Mr. Flurry warned that one man in particular may be behind Germany’s effort to tighten Internet regulation: former German Defense and Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. He has spent several years as senior adviser to the European Commission on global Internet freedom. He also sits on the board of isd. Since Mr. Flurry wrote that article, this topic has become increasingly relevant. Yet few recognize Germany’s involvement.
Whether you have been affected by the rising censorship regime or you agree that the Internet has to be censored, I encourage you to read “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet.”