Majority of European candidates want regulation for cyber security and 'fake news' cautions – The Economic Journal

Most European election candidates say that the European Union must regulate cybersecurity, many also admit European Union rules to combat disinformation, but warn of preserving freedom of expression.

To the question of the Lusa Agency on whether or not the European Union should legislate on the regulation of European cyber security and on combating online misinformation, most of the candidacies for the European elections on 26 May were answered in the affirmative, especially with regard to the size of safety.

The head of the PS list, Pedro Marques, believes that both issues constitute "very serious threats to democracies, stability, security and peace," arguing that "the broader the responses, the greater the chances of combating, "and it is important that Europe establishes" rules that, while respecting individual freedoms, protect European countries and citizens, and may even be examples of good practice to be implemented elsewhere in the world. "

Paulo Rangel, at the head of the PSD list, responds in the affirmative, recalling that there is already legislation and that the EU has produced "extensive information and documentation" on the issues, emphasizing "respect for privacy, freedom of expression, of judicial or para-judicial authorities, when the statute of fundamental rights so requires. "

The PCP, which competes with a list led by João Ferreira, argues that "these so-called 'external threats' or 'misinformation' have served as a pretext for the creation at the EU level of norms that reach sovereignty in essential areas, and to impose measures that violate rights, freedoms and guarantees, "admitting, however," cooperation between States, without their democratic institutions losing their mastery and decision in these matters. "

For Marisa Matias, from BE, "solutions that are much broader than the borders of each member state" are needed, defending "responses that involve the various actors in the digital environment, not only the large multinationals and the market", considers that "rights and freedoms can not be taken back, as has happened with the copyright directive on the digital market."

The head of the CDS-PP list, Nuno Melo, thinks that "security is absolutely fundamental" and sees the so-called fake news as "the moral misery of democracy", acknowledging that they have interfered in "some of the most relevant electoral disputes" , and says that Portugal is not immune to the phenomenon, pointing to the spread of "fraudulent rankings" in this election campaign.

Marinho and Pinto, of the PDR, recognizes that "the EU should legislate on security in the digital space", a "terrain where crime knows no borders" through "general, abstract and objective legal rules", but, as regards misinformation , argues that the best way to combat it is "through true, exempt, pluralistic, impartial and independent information," stressing that "lies fight with the truth and not with propaganda or with administrative, police or judicial repression" .

For the PAN, the candidate Francisco Guerreiro, the European Union must legislate and also "finance projects and / or websites which, guided by the codes of ethics and science, deconstruct false information", and "the principle of privacy, net neutrality ' [neutralidade da internet] and freedom of expression must be the engine of any legislative advance. "

Rui Tavares, head of Libre's list, defends "a unified and unequivocal response to the pretensions of other regional blocs in disrupting the European democratic system", says that these issues, which will be at the top of European agendas, "are not only related to the false news but with all areas of public life, from data protection, to freedom and privacy for each of us, to security issues. "

According to the Alliance, Paulo Sande argues that these are issues to be dealt with on a "supranational scale", such as the EU, "a pattern-issuer with a tendency towards universalization", which should "legislate on the Internet, to guarantee freedom of communicate and combat abuses of all kinds. "

The head of the list Citizens, Paulo Morais, considers that "security and defense cooperation" is essential for cyberattacks, but with regard to online disinformation, social networks and traditional media, "Means of regulation" and "the future development of jurisprudence will suffice": "With more than this framework, which already exists, we would risk the implementation of censorship measures and serious limitations on freedom of expression."

The Basta coalition, headed by André Ventura, believes that it is essential to find "models for combating computer crime at Community level", but on misinformation, assuming that false news must be tackled, stresses that "we can not start limiting freedom of speech aggressively ", under penalty of a return" in dark times ", which seems to be the desire of some European governments, which does not name.

The Liberal Initiative, which has the first candidate in Ricardo Arroja, has advantages in "EU-level collaboration" on cybersecurity, and in relation to online misinformation, recalls that "there are already legal mechanisms that allow punishment of those who divulge false or slanderous information "And even supposing that further progress can be made, he emphasizes that" it would be important not to set precedents of limitation on freedom of expression ".

The MAS, which competes with a list led by Vasco Santos, acknowledges concern about cyber security, warning that, regarding misinformation, "the response can not be censorship," he argues that "the answer to false news is the publication of news true ", which presupposes" a freedom and diversity in the media, "which he considers" is not guaranteed today, given the existence of real private monopolies in the media, controlled by major economic interests. "

According to Luís Júdice from the PCTP-MRPP, a strategy for cybersecurity, which goes back to a project of the Commission in 2017, aims mainly at a "tighter control" of content and information, "enabling the European regulator to block all opinions to call into question the sacrosanct 'European unity' ".

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