Concern over Moldova Cyber Security As Election Looms – Balkan Insight

Dodon is bidding for a second term in next month’s election but faces a strong challenge from pro-European candidate Maia Sandu.


The SIS press told BIRN that, while it confronts the of cyberattacks, its future focus would be more on disinformation and propaganda.


Torn between integrating with the West or remaining in Russia’s orbit, Moldova has proven particularly vulnerable to outside propaganda, particularly against NATO, the and the international community in general.


The SIS said that during the state-of-emergency in the spring, it closed some 61 websites and news portals deemed to be spreading propaganda and news regarding the pandemic.


But Petru Macovei, executive director of the Independent Press Association, , said SIS did not go far enough.


“It was a facade with the closure of those sites, to justify themselves that their activity was not in vain during the state of emergency caused by the pandemic,” Macovei told BIRN. “Indeed, it was neither effective nor sufficient.”


These “were selective decisions,” he said, “because the real propaganda was not affected by that SIS measure.”


By ‘real propaganda,’ many experts in Moldova mean Russian media outlets that broadcast in Moldova with a distinctively anti-Western tone.


“Russian media in Moldova like Komsomolskaya Pravda or Sputnik every day have at least one anti-EU and NATO news and some about Ukraine,” said Cozonac.


Strategy lacking


Elena Marzac, executive director of the Information and Documentation Centre on NATO, IDC NATO, said that COVID-19 crisis and the economic fallout were “gradually turning into a crisis.”


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