Why information resilience is needed and how it can be ensured. IPN debate

Information resilience is an important, but relatively new phenomenon in the context of the security of a state and also for the political culture of a society, probably Moldovan society in particular. The issue was discussed by experts invited to IPN’s public debate “Why information resilience is needed and how it can be ensured”.

IPN’s senior contributor Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Sciences at Liebig-Justus University in Giessen, Germany, said the debate on information resilience is relatively new. In the European Union, this started to be discussed in 2015, after the events that happened in Crimea and after the Yanukovych regime was ousted. The problem of information resilience or rather the absence of information resilience in Ukraine started to be discussed in the context of the hybrid war waged by the Russian Federation.

Dionis Cenușa noted information resilience should be understood as the capacity of the state to protect its information space. “This definition is broad and some of the specialists tie it only to the virtual space and cyber-security. But it should be looked through the angle of the information in general, which is a public good and which should be somehow in the responsibility of the state for being protected from foreign inference first of all, but also from internal attempts to manipulate information intended for the public,” he stated.

Acceding to the researcher, the existence of information resilience, in an ideal way, would mean that the state takes proper care of its information space, of the data going to the public, starting with the pandemic and ending with the electoral processes in a country. If the state is unable to do this, there is no information security or there is partial information resilience.

PR and political communication expert Aurelia Peru, doctor habilitate in political sciences, said at the universities they use such notions as “media war”, “information war”, “strategic communication” and, more recently “public diplomacy”, but she has never met the notion of “information resilience” in the media until now. “This is a new conception and is a challenge for researchers. In the international public space, they started to discuss “media challenges” and “media information war” in the context of the 2014 events after the annexation of Crimea by Russia. In 2015, the EU set up a strategic communication group as part of the European External Action Service. In 2015, there were also created two platforms to fight propaganda, misinformation, fake news. StratCom was designed for the Eastern neighborhood of the EU, while Arab Stracom was intended for the Arab world in which experts in the field had the task of anticipating and controlling misinformation.

According to her, Moldova felt the lack of information security and the pressure coming from outside through information sources in 2016-2017, due to the presidential elections of 2016. ”At lawmaking level, the necessity of securing the information space started to be discussed in 2017. On the initiative of the MPs of the Democratic Party, the first changes were made to the Audiovisual Code and two new conceptions were introduced in two articles of the Audiovisual Code – information security, which was absent until then, and included the definition of information security. Amendments were also made to Article 9 of the Audiovisual Code, concerning the free broadcast or rebroadcast of programs produced by TV channels of states that signed the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, plus Canada, the EU and the U.S. These were the methods used by the then political class to secure the information space,” stated Aurelia Peru.

The public debate “Why information resilience is needed and how it can be ensured” was the 159th installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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