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Title: Protection of democratic processes and electoral acts from Russian digital active measures: 2016 as a reference year
Authors: Silvestre, Ricardo
Keywords: Democracy
intelligence agencies
digital platforms
Russian Federation
European Union
Issue Date: May-2022
Publisher: OBERVARE. Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Abstract: Russia has been credibly accused of trying to weaken Western liberal democracies with use of digital means. Cybersecurity experts, intelligence agencies, investigative journalists, and government services, have detailed the Kremlin's actions in illegally accessing digital infrastructures, disseminating stolen contents online, and influencing political debate on digital platforms to create dissention and polarization. These initiatives are included in a wider strategy of altering the balance of power in the international order via what are known as ‘active measures’. Two of the most consequential recent application of this kind of measures took place in 2016, in the United States Presidential Elections and in the Brexit Referendum. Reports made public with the assessments of errors committed by the United States and the United Kingdom governments show there was an insufficient protection of those two crucial public consultation processes. The mistakes made by these countries in protecting democracy from hostile agents with a high level of digital proficiency, should be a point of interest, and urgency, for the European Union. It is to be expected that this kind of influence operation will continue, and become more sophisticated, as they can target elections in Member States of the Union, but also for the European Parliament. The early detection, applying of countermeasures, and the sharing of information with the voters of this kind of attacks by foreign agencies is an important defense mechanism that needs to be strengthen and expanded.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISSN: 1647-7251
Appears in Collections:OBSERVARE - JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations. Vol.13, n.1 (May - October 2022)

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