Latvia praised in OECD info space report

Latvia gets a positive mention or two in a recent OECD report for its efforts in improving the security of the information space.

On March 4, 2024, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a first report on the situation of member states in the field of information space security, which outlines national policies on how to deal with the global problem of disinformation. In several aspects, Latvia is mentioned in the report as a positive example in promoting information security.

The report says that some countries, especially in recent years, have developed strategies that focus on combating disinformation and strengthening information integrity. The OECD data shows that only nine countries (Australia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and the United States of America) have developed a strategic document that sets out how to counter disinformation and strengthen information integrity within the country.

Latvia's National Strategic Communication and Information Space Security Concept 2023-2027 was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in January 2023. In 2022, the State Chancellery of Latvia published a digital publication "Handbook against disinformation: recognize and resist".

In addition, in May 2023, Latvia approved the regulations of the State Information Space Security Coordination Group. The document includes legally binding obligations, and also states that the Strategic Communication Coordination Department of the State Chancellery is the responsible body.

The international obligations of countries to protect and promote information security and integrity online are defined by the Global Declaration on Information Integrity Online, adopted in September 2023 and signed by 34 countries. It also hopes that the private sector and online platforms will adopt business practices that promote a healthy information ecosystem online. Along with other countries, Latvia has also approved the declaration.

Overall, the report describes various risks, such as the spread of disinformation during elections, foreign information manipulation and interference campaigns, and the impact of artificial intelligence. Based on a survey of 23 OECD countries, the report includes case studies and recommendations on how governments can play a positive, but not intrusive, role in this area.

"It is now widely acknowledged that the spread of false and misleading information, at times deliberately disseminated to deceive or mislead, blurs public debates and fuels polarisation, eroding the social fabric of open societies more widely. Experiences that have only accelerated in recent years show that disinformation campaigns, strategically orchestrated by domestic or foreign actors, can have far-reaching consequences in many policy areas ranging from public health to national security or addressing the climate crisis. They cast doubt on factual evidence and aggravate existing societal divisions, making it difficult to build the societal consensus essential to address complex policy challenges," says the OECD.

You can read the full report here and see the presentation of the findings in the video below.




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