March 4. 2024. 11:21

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Czechia mulls criminalising disinformation


The intentional spreading of disinformation could find its way into the Czech criminal code, according to a new action plan currently being discussed by the government.

The contents of the draft plan, which has not yet been made public, have recently been reported in the media, which points to plans to clarify the legal status of disinformation and adapt the criminal law.

“There is a great deal of expert discussion about whether or not the current criminal law is sufficient to deal with cases of disinformation,” Czech government envoy for media and disinformation Michal Klíma said in an interview for Seznam Zprávy.

According to Klíma, current legislation does not sufficiently cover the issue of fake news and needs to be made clearer.

Under the new plan, the government proposes to introduce legislation that would allow national authorities to block disinformation sites that threaten national security. Such a measure could be only applied to disinformation coming from abroad, Klíma said.

Under the plan, €2 million will also be allocated to non-profit organisations combating disinformation, while another €4 million should be allocated to Czech media. Though the plan is not clear on how funding will be distributed, Klíma hinted that the funding should be available for both small and large media.

“I think there should be a grant for smaller and start-up media, but I think there should also be a grant for larger media,” Klíma said.

“I can imagine that there would be a grant to support foreign coverage from the European Union, which would be available to the larger publishers,” he added.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)