Disinformation vs Technology: How Ukraine and International Partners Defend Information Space from Fakes


Today Ukraine is on the frontline of global information war. Active utilization of black propaganda instruments influences all aspects of socio-political life, can level diplomatic measures, and pose additional threats in cyberspace.

Despite Ukrainian professionals holding clear advantage in the information space, it is full of new challenges that emerge daily and require innovative responding approaches. How to ensure further effective information defense in such a situation? This question was raised by the participants of the 11th National Cybersecurity Cluster session.

The second platform`s meeting since the full-scale invasion in Ukraine covered the topic “Action against disinformation and cyber threats: algorithm of communications on the international arena”. The event gathered over 200 participants belonging to the public and private sectors, international community and academia, specialized civil-society organizations.

“Hybrid nature related to disinformation is used in all ways. It is the most powerful weapon of the aggressor, as demonstrated by the war. Since disinformation is vital for Russia, we should eliminate its ability to reach it. We should address any act of disinformation together,” – encouraged the audience Serhii Demediuk, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).

The peculiarity of the session was the ability to review the issue of countering disinformation through three different angles: Ukrainian experience, international practices as well as public-private partnership. Representatives of NSDC, Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD) at the NSDC, Ukrainian Parliament, media and research institutions presented their views during the event.

“Disinformation and cybersecurity are closely intertwined. It is a pleasure that we conduct this session together with the Center for Countering Disinformation for the first time. Broader cooperation between NCCC and CCD will contribute to our cooperation and allow us to confront our enemy both in information and cyber spaces,” – noted Serhii Prokopenko, Head of the National Cybersecurity Coordination Center (NCSCC) Support Department.

U.S. Department of State’s Global Engagement Center, NATO, and European Union experts, as well as Trollrensics company, which researches disinformation on social media, shared best international practices of countering disinformation and algorithm of actions in information space.

“It is clear that the speed of fake news dissemination grows symmetrically to the intensification of hostilities. At the same time, the negative impact increases. Being under stressful conditions, people tend to take a lie at face value and unconsciously contribute to its further dissemination. This only confirms the fact that we should unite our efforts with international partners to maximize the effectiveness of counter-disinformation activities,” – stressed Mykhailo Verych, Senior Operations Manager, CRDF Global in Ukraine.

The special focus of the meeting was on the successful case of public-private partnership in cyberspace, dedicated to the exposure of sabotage groups using modern technology. It is the synergy of state sector capabilities and IT-instruments of the business community, that strengthens and at the same time simplifies the algorithm of resisting information and cyber threats.

During the discussion participants agreed that the best way to address such threats is to use preventive communication instruments and further develop existing capacities. Both effective internal cooperation and enhanced coordination with international partners will facilitate this process.

National Cybersecurity Cluster is a joint effort of the NCSCC at the NSDC of Ukraine and Representation of U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation in Ukraine, CRDF Global, with the support of the U.S. Department of State. The platform unites key Ukrainian and international players in the sphere of cybersecurity and related areas to address key needs of cyber community in Ukraine.

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