The Dallas Morning News

9-nation center to fight fake news

Experts from NATO, EU countries to battle disinforma­tion threat

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HELSINKI — A center to combat disinforma­tion and fake news will be built in Finland after an agreement Tuesday of nine countries from the European Union and NATO.

The countries — Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the United States — signed the memorandum to set up the “hybrid threat” center in Helsinki with the support of the Finnish government.

The center will start work later this year and will initially have a budget of $1.6 million and be staffed by experts and researcher­s from the founding members.

Lorenz Meyer-Minneman, head of NATO’s civil preparedne­ss unit, said the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats will serve as a platform for EU and NATO to pool resources and share expertise.

Over recent years, campaigns to discredit, misinform and spread fake news have become an increasing problem for policymake­rs in Europe and the United States.

“Working together is essential in building resilience to hybrid threats,” said Meyer-Minneman.

Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said the EU and NATO will face “the challenge of hybrid threats hand in hand.”

The new Helsinki center aims to closely cooperate with NATO’s existing cyber defense center in Estonia and strategic communicat­ions center in Latvia.

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