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Czech Republic Sets Up Counter-Terrorism Unit To Counter Fake News Threat (cnn.com) 119

According to CNN, the Czech Republic is setting up a new counter-terrorism unit to combat the rise of fake news or "foreign disinformation campaigns." The counter-terrorism unit is called "The Center Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats," and is due to start operating on Sunday, according to an interior ministry statement. CNN reports: The new center is intended to monitor internal security threats, including attacks on soft targets and extremism, as well as "disinformation campaigns related to internal security." Its establishment follows the publication in September of a Czech intelligence service report that identified Russian disinformation and cyber-espionage activities as a potential threat to the Czech Republic, European Union and NATO. The Czech Republic is due to hold a general election next year. According to the Czech Security Information Service (BIS) annual report, Russia in 2015 used "influence and information operations" to try to manipulate public opinion in the Czech Republic in relation to Syria and Ukraine. Russia is involved in conflicts in both these countries. Russia's hybrid warfare operations included "weakening the strength of Czech media" through "covert infiltration of Czech media and the Internet, massive production of Russian propaganda and disinformation controlled by the state," the report said. Other Russian operations included founding puppet organizations, the "covert and open support of populist or extremist subjects," and "disrupting the coherence and readiness of NATO and the EU," the report claimed. "The above-mentioned activities pose a threat to the Czech Republic, EU and NATO not only in relation to the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts. "The infrastructure created for achieving these goals will not disappear with the end of the two conflicts. It can be used to destabilize or manipulate Czech society or political environment at any time, if Russia wishes to do so." According to the Czech interior ministry, its new unit won't be interrogating anyone, censoring online content or bringing legal proceedings, nor will it "have a button for 'switching off the internet.'" But it will monitor threats, inform the public about "serious cases of disinformation" and promote internal security expertise.
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Czech Republic Sets Up Counter-Terrorism Unit To Counter Fake News Threat

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    We can't have citizens exposed to dangerous untruths. They might begin to form dangerous, unsanctioned beliefs.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Often the truth isn't even hidden.

      Let's look at the recent and ongoing illegal immigration disaster unfolding in Europe.

      A lot of the time the news reports include photos or video footage that contradicts what is claimed in the associated written or spoken report.

      We'll see reports that discuss how most are supposedly Syrian refugees, but the photos and footage will show large numbers of Sub-Saharan Africans.

      We'll see reports that discuss how most of them are supposedly women and children, but the photos and

      • >but the photos and footage will show large numbers of young, fighting-age men,

        PERFECT! Germany needs more soldiers to fight scum

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      As usual the idiots haven't even bothered to read the summary.

      According to the Czech interior ministry, its new unit won't be interrogating anyone, censoring online content or bringing legal proceedings, nor will it "have a button for 'switching off the internet.'" But it will monitor threats, inform the public about "serious cases of disinformation" and promote internal security expertise.

      • > As usual the idiots haven't even bothered to read the summary.

        >> According to the Czech interior ministry, its new unit won't be interrogating anyone, censoring
        >> online content or bringing legal proceedings, nor will it "have a button for 'switching off the internet.'"

        yet... Wait till stage 2 or 3.

  • Geez, this "fake news" paranoia is off-the-rails crazy.

    Awwww, did ums poor widdle babies have your harpy lose last month?

  • my fake news is your job
  • Propaganda (Score:2, Insightful)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 )

    [Russia tries] to manipulate public opinion in the Czech Republic in relation to Syria and Ukraine

    So basically the problem is that Russia is pushing its own war propaganda against government's own. Fake news is likely to be on both sides.

    • Re:Propaganda (Score:5, Informative)

      by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @08:52PM (#53568601)

      So basically the problem is that Russia is pushing its own war propaganda against government's own. Fake news is likely to be on both sides.

      You haven't seen the extent of Russian trolling. The so called "Olgino brigade" (well, they have multiple offices and the one at Olgino has long since moved) dominate any comment section on a story even remotely connected to Russia, Ukraine, US, Israel, Turkey, etc, on most prominent news sites. They up-mod each other, operating many many sockpuppets through proxies in the country. While they generally speak good Polish (or in this case, Czech), they are trivial to spot: for example, they love to call any opposition "fascist" -- that's a term which was massively used in Soviet propaganda but in Poland used exclusively for Mussolini's Italy even during the commie times -- where an American would say "nazi" we have "hitlerite", so use of "fascist" stands out. In the past they had to mention "Right Sector" in every sentence, nowadays they go for UPA or Bandera. Somehow they're also extremely anti-semitic (not sure what's the gain for Russia here).

      • You haven't seen the extent of Russian trolling.

        Yes, I know they have troll factories to handle the load. But staring at the obvious foreign propaganda, make sure you are not blind to the more furtive propaganda from your own government.

        • So that means one should ignore fake news sponsored by a foreign adversarial state (which is what Russia acts like to former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact nations) because there might be some internal bias to the local news?

      • Guess we're not important enough.

        A quick google for pre-2012 instances of faszystowski bandera belies your assertion BTW.

      • by ( 4475953 )

        Finally someone who knows what he's talking about. Russian trolls are also very active on German forums. It has been nothing more than a nuisance at first (who takes comments 'I like Putin because he's a strong man and a good leader' seriously), but they've become more sophisticated and are trying to undermine our elections. The best way of countering them is to close their sockpuppet accounts and very actively destroy their botnets.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      No the problem is not the Russians or aliens or even terrorists, everyone knows exactly who the problem is, the people and the cause is them talking to each other, rather than just being force fed the establishments propaganda. This is nothing more but the most corrupt and self serving deceit of the 1%, globally. They are going to go attack social media and their own populations use of it and stop those pesky sheep from talking together, otherwise they will realise they are not sheep and those running the c

    • What a bullshit. The above post is a typical example of how Russian propaganda works. Spreading doubt by repeating blatant bullshit. The Czech government doesn't publish fake news or propaganda. Russians and manu0601 just don't get what propaganda is and that not the whole world thinks in the same twisted way as they do. Hint: Giving a press conference is not propaganda. (BTW, there is not much propaganda from the Russian government either except in the Ukraine conflict, when the Russian government simply '

      • The Czech government doesn't publish fake news or propaganda

        Refugee crisis: Czechs blame Russia, Hungary blames Soros [budapestbeacon.com]

        Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnický says refugees are being transported through the West Balkan corridor to Western Europe with buses paid for by the Russian government. Stropnický’s statements were published over the weekend in Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes.
        According to him, he received this information from Hungary’s Defense Minister István Simicskó.
        Stropnický told the Czech daily he has no reason to disbelieve statements by Simicskó. The Czech said it is likely that Russia’s objective is to destabilize the European Union.

        OK, here is the bold texts, of course, Stropniky did not have any evidence just belief.
        I don't know what it is, if not fake news/propaganda.

      • Meanwhile, everyone with a brain moves away from Russia (even the oligarchs!) or drinks himself to death

        Oh, another interesting information!
        Stratfor, IMRussia [imrussia.org] (but I think imrussia is more honest) all sing songs that Russia faces another wave of brain-drain.
        Yes, they have some examples, some apps startups, some game companies, but look at the numbers they provided.
        Firstly, the number from Stratfor:
        https://translate.google.com/t... [google.com]
        (honestly, I actually like some anti-Putin jokes here)
        Now, dig into those numbers (forget about the pro-Russian stand of the author below, focus on the number):
        https://transl [google.com]

    • Fake news is likely to be on both sides.

      That is, things are always NOT simple as black and white, as MSM, and some people here try to paint.
      Recently, the Poles nationalists shouted slogans against Ukrainians, and a day later Poland quickly [rt.com] blamed [uatoday.tv] Russia for this.
      So, Yushchenko pro-Western president in 2004, granted Bandera "Hero of Ukraine" [nybooks.com], and Poroshenko pro-Western president in 2016, renamed [foreignpolicy.com] "Moscow Avenue" to "Bandera Avenue", which more or less have raised the long [bloomberg.com], hidden [wikipedia.org] conflicts between Ukraine-Poland are also Russian hybridwar?

      Note:

      • Of course, everyone is shitty to some degree. But this is exactly what the Russian trolls are using to muddy the waters. Oh so somebody in Ukraine renamed a street? Well RUSSIA INVADED AND OCCUPIED part of the country and is responsible for THOUSANDS DEAD AND MILLIONS DISPLACED. So we're totally even right?

        Like, it's not nearly remotely the same. But they'll stick in every discussion about Ukraine/Georgia/Syria and try to confuse the situation. It works so well that in real-life discussions people will clai

        • Hmm, some thing not right here in your comment. Did you reply me?
          I sought an example of "blaming Russians", and "don't believe in Russian fakes/propaganda" anytime when someone did something wrong! Here is, Polish nationalist shouted "Kill all Ukrainians", "Death to Ukrainians", etc.
          It's an example of "Fake news is likely to be on the both side" as the OP.
          Oh, if you know history, you must know that Bandera's UPA massacred Polish in WWII, so my comment is reasonable here. It explained the action of Polish
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @08:34PM (#53568487)
    lots and lots of page views. Worse, Fake News only really works with the worst sort. Either people who aren't all there (Alzheimer's, which given aging populations is a real problem) or folks who never learned critical thinking (which, despite what the right ring will tell you, is a skill that can be taught. That's what all those English Classes are for).

    The worst thing is you can't even harness Fake News for good. The sort of person who's on the ball enough to do good isn't going to fall for Fake News. Where the sort of person who is just needs a little push in the right direction to do something nasty. That's why you don't see left wing Fake News very much. The ones selling it (not good natured lefties but folks in the page views biz) admitted as much when asked in several interviews. Lefty Fake News gets debunked too fast to spread like good Fake News needs to...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No. Critical thinking is taught in Critical Thinking and Logic classes. They can be found in the philosophy department. If you never took one, you have no formal education in critical thinking but might have picked up some skills along the way as necessary to pass other classes. Similar to having learned a little economics and a little math when taking accounting.

      • for people with a higher baseline intelligence. In other worlds the sort of people who would have learned to think Critically on their own. For the less capable reading and analyzing texts in a classroom setting is how they learn. And believe me, you want those people to learn critical thinking. Otherwise they'll be lead by the nose to the slaughter house, and you'll get roped in with them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by lgw ( 121541 )

      folks who never learned critical thinking (which, despite what the right ring will tell you, is a skill that can be taught. That's what all those English Classes are for).

      Sadly, "critical thinking" has been replaced in the curriculum with "critical of white cis-hetero men" thinking.

      The sort of person who's on the ball enough to do good isn't going to fall for Fake News

      Wow, so only smart people can do good? That's a breathtaking level of intellectual snobbery.

      . Lefty Fake News gets debunked too fast to spread like good Fake News needs to...

      Has "hands up, don't shoot" ever been well-debunked? Certainly not before several riots happened. Or are you using "Fake News" to mean "any news that doesn't fit the progressive narrative", in which case, sure the lack of left wing fake news is trivially true.

      • I mean, it's a troll, and a bad one, but you could at least try a little harder. "critical of white cis-hetero men"? I can't tell if you're attacking or supporting feminism. In either case I got none of that in my English class. I had one class built around that sorta thing and it was mostly there to give me exposure to other cultures/ideas in the hopes that any lingering racism I might have picked up from my folks I might disabuse myself of (how's that for Intellectual Snobbery, I used the phrase "disabus
        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          I mean, it's a troll, and a bad one, but you could at least try a little harder.

          Hate to be the one to tell you this, but university has changed in the last ~15-25 years since you or I were there last. What the GP was talking about, is pretty much the norm in quite a few universities. You see it here in Canuck universities like Brown and University of Toronto quite often. This is usually rounded out by several parts of the course material(or other courses) making statements like "the patriarchy is what's keeping us women down."

        • If you don't know what his last comment is about then you haven't followed US news for a year. BLM and other movements were saying "Hands up, don't shoot" because that was what the news reported happened when Michael Brown was killed. Except it didn't happen. There was also some rioting about the shooting during this time. The truth came out that he never said or did that and in fact attacked the officer. That fake news spread quickly and kept momentum, and it was "lefty fake news".
          • I've been following news non stop. Read the Washington Post, watch the Daily Show, Sam Bee, John Oliver and Cobert Report. That's kinda my point. Lefty fake news doesn't work. Lefties just don't fall for it the way righties do. There's a quote from one of the Fake News sellers where he admitted that the stuff just gets debunked before it can go viral...
    • ...unless it's about Monsanto and GMOs and nuclear power. The left eats that up. ...and I'm fairly progressive.

      • There's lots of bad to say about Monsanto. GMOs make a lot of people nervous because we don't fully understand them; and by 'we' I mean all of us. It's not like we've got a 100% perfect grasp on genetic engineering. Still most progressives when pressed will admit that it's the only solution to feed our population. Sure, we've got nutters who'll disagree, but they're our nutters and we recognize them as such.

        As a progressive (and a Democratic Socialist who waited in line 3 hours to vote Bernie) I'm nervo
        • The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was designed by GE in the 1960s. If you look today at the safety record of cars designed in the 1960s, you might be nervous about cars, too. People putting up road blocks to building new nuclear plants to replace the old ones and then using the failure of the old ones as a reason to put up even more road blocks seems to me very much like the people who cut the funding for government agencies and then use the poor performance that results from the inadequate funding
    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Thursday December 29, 2016 @12:08AM (#53569589) Journal

      The sort of person who's on the ball enough to do good isn't going to fall for Fake News. Where the sort of person who is just needs a little push in the right direction to do something nasty. That's why you don't see left wing Fake News very much. The ones selling it (not good natured lefties but folks in the page views biz) admitted as much when asked in several interviews. Lefty Fake News gets debunked too fast to spread like good Fake News needs to...

      This. Last month, there was story about this on NPR. [npr.org]

      TL/DR: Jestin Coler (the fake-news writer) claimed that he does it to show how easily hoodwinked people are by fake news, but when pressed, he admitted he could make lots of money doing this. A few interesting quotes from his interview:

      The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly false or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction.
      [...]
      We've tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You'll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Makes sense, the alt-right's entire philosophy is that they are victims of a range of bizarre conspiracies by the rich and powerful (except Trump), the mainstream media (except Breitbart), feminists and women in general, Obama, SJWs, the tax man, and pretty much any else who disagrees with them. They thrive on conspiracies.

        The problem is that the debunking part doesn't work. They become too heavily invested in the falsehood to give it up simply because it isn't true. If you head over the Reddit people are s

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        For what it's worth I think liberals can get taken in by false news too, it's just that this guy doesn't have the ear for it. It's like trying to cross over from country to jazz. This guy just doesn't know how to hit the note that triggers the fight or flight response in liberals.

        That said, it's the conservative movement's historical turn to suffer from arrogance-induced head-rot, as the liberal movement has had at times in the past. A society requires a tension between its liberal and conservative impuls

    • Your wrong, fake news is alive and well on the left, it just operates on different topics than the right. It is just as effective at is goal of segregating people into groups and demonizing the other side. The ultimate goal of these campaigns is the same as ever, divide and conquer.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...of a "fake news" story provably fabricated and spread by Russians to try to get Trump elected that:

    (choose at least one)
    1) Got traction in the mainstream media and had a measurable influence on public opinion.
    2) Was mentioned at all in the mainstream media
    3) Was spread widely on respectable conservative websites (Breitbart, Daily Caller, etc.), leading already-committed Trump voters to be slightly more overwhelmingly likely to turn out to vote
    4) Was mentioned at all on respectable conservative websites
    5)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Except that the Wikileaks emails were DKIM validated and CNN lied about it repeatedly, both with claims it was fake or altered somehow (no examples were ever provided) and claims it was somehow illegal to look at if you're not in the media (it's not). Bonus points: the same lawyer has also been seen on CNN completely unable to do simple math when trying to divide a lottery amount among everyone in the USA.

      Then they started full on with Russian hacking BS to get people to look the other way. They have yet

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Like allegedly backing hackers who retrieved and released true e-nails from Democrats. You heard it here first, folks, the Democrats are calling inconvenient truths obtained through unsanctioned means, "fake news." The real truth is they've been doing this for years and only just came up with the newspeak "fake news" groupthink moniker.

  • It should be quite alarming that a state would issue such policies. I also realize that this is the agenda here in the US. Unfortunately, censoring media, including fake news, is constitutionally protected. I do realize there is an arm of MSM and the masses of Sheeple who disagree. I'll be happy to point out that while certain candidates, like Obama, have gotten a free pass initiating the groundwork for censorship, these same policies should and have already sounded the alarm when the wrong regime takes
    • It should be quite alarming that a state would issue such policies. I also realize that this is the agenda here in the US. Unfortunately, censoring media, including fake news, is constitutionally protected.

      I don't know if you realise but the Czech republic is not a US state and so the US constitution has no particular applicability. And you know what's far more alarming to the Czech than some foreign countries constitution (which is a mixture of excellent and very dated)? Russia. It's only been 25 years si

  • Now we are going to trun that camera and beat the truth out of you.

  • Or this is fake news as well?

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2016 @10:14PM (#53569073)
    This fake news stuff is getting boring. Let's start a conspiracy theory instead: the CIA splashed a Russian military plane in retaliation for helping Wikileaks expose Clinton and the rest of the Democrats as people you wouldn't trust to walk your dog.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/28/europe/russian-military-plane-crash/index.html
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      This occurred to me. Rather than an obvious "cyberattack" where you shut off ATMs or electricity or some other completely obvious visible service, instead you demonstrate how you can hit the remote off button for avionics on specific aircraft at will.

      It works well because unlike things expected to be network connected and possibly have some kind of reachable vulnerability in a knowable failure domain, something not considered practically hackable gets disabled and there's not even good theories about how i

  • Finally a strategy to deal with untruth news.
    Doubleplusgood comrades!

  • Fake news? That could never happen here.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -- Winston Churchill

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