More details have emerged on the censorship apparatus operated by Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE)-Podemos government. A new cyber-monitoring tool, known as ELISA, has been rolled out across the country, which will scour the internet for supposed instances
of disinformation and report them to Spain's central government for further action.
ELISA began by monitoring only a few dozen web pages. However, its surveillance operation has now expanded to around 350 sites. It has been described as a Digital
Observatory, designed to facilitate the monitoring of open sources, as well as the profiling of media and social networks.
To avoid any judicial oversight, ELISA will supposedly only monitor open source data, rather than private communications. It
will nonetheless mine vast quantities of information on online sources, social media usage, news platforms and other internet content.
ELISA's development and implementation is the latest in a series of internet-monitoring and censorship measures
recently made public in Spain. Revelations about the CCN's ELISA tool come hot on the heels of a new protocol, the Procedure for Intervention against Disinformation. It allows the state to monitor and suppress internet content, under the pretext of
combatting fake news and disinformation.
This gives the Spanish government full decision-making power to determine what is or is not fake news, and makes legal provision for constant state surveillance of social media platforms and the media more
broadly to detect disinformation and formulate a political response.
A museum of forbidden literature has opened in the Old Town of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The aim of the museum is to present banned, burned or censored books to the general public from different parts of the world.
The museum explained in a
In the museum, books from different parts of the world will be exhibited to tell their stories and discuss issues related to the free expression of ideas.
The aim is to conduct
initial research on the history of censorship in Estonia, focussing on the period of Soviet occupation. In the museum, visitors can read books, touch them, read them and buy most of them.
Books are categorised by country -- forbidden
sections can be found from the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, but also from the US. There is also a section of books that have been burned for various reasons throughout history.
The museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 11 AM to 6
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has introduced a new swathe of internet regulation. She said the commission would be rewriting the rulebook for our digital market with stricter rules for online content, from selling unsafe
products to posting 'hate speech'.
Von der Leyen told the online Web Summit:
No-one expects all digital platforms to check all the user content that they host. This would be a threat to everyone's freedom to speak
their mind. ...But... if illegal content is notified by the competent national authorities, it must be taken down. More pressure
The Digital Services Act will replace the EU's 2000 e-commerce directive. Due to come into
force on Wednesday, 2 December, it has now been delayed until next week.
Likely to put more pressure on social-media platforms to take down and block unlawful content more quickly, the new rules will almost certainly be contested by companies such
as Google and Facebook, which now face far stricter censorship both in Europe and the US, following claims about the the supposed spread of 'fake news' and 'hate speech'.
The EU's anti-terrorist coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, is urging the censorship of internet game chat lest it could be used to propagate extremist ideologies and even prepare attacks.
The official commented ahead of a proposed Digital Services
Act that aims to address US dominance of the internet and to propose censorship measures targeting speech that the EU does not like. De Kerchove commented:
I'm not saying that all the gaming sector is a problem. There
are two billion people playing online, and that's all very well ...BUT... you have extreme-right groups in Germany that have come up with games where the aim is to shoot Arabs, or (George) Soros, or Mrs Merkel for her migration policy, etc.
That can be an alternative way to spread ideology, especially of the extreme right but not only them, a way to launder money -- there are currencies created in games that can be exchanged for legal tender
He also suggested the Digital Services Act include a provision forcing providers of encrypted communication to give police and prosecutors unencrypted versions of the messages sent on their services when ordered to do so by a judge.