Critics say that the Lithuanian intelligence body's proposals to make spreading disinformation a criminal offence in order "to step up information security" are reminiscent of the Soviet times and may lead to restrictions on the freedom of expression.
State Security Department
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"Such proposals remind me of an article in the Soviet-era Criminal Code that prohibited tarnishing Soviet reality," Virgis Valentinavičius, associate professor at Mykolas Romeris University, told BNS.

Valentinavičius said that such a law, if passed, could be used in political infighting in the country.

Quality journalism, better self-regulation of the media and greater financial security are better ways of fighting disinformation and propaganda from Russia than bans, he says.

The State Security Department (VSD) has recently proposed in its annual national security report to criminalize disinformation "to step up information security".

According to the intelligence agency, disinformation would be defined as "false information made public with the intent of harming Lithuania's national interests or destabilizing the situation in the country".

The VSD has also proposed to add disinformation and sabotage provisions to an article in the Lithuanian Criminal Code that provides for punishment for "public incitement to infringe on Lithuania's sovereignty by using violence".

The parliament's National Security and Defence Committee plans to meet with VSD officials next week to discuss their proposals.

Artūras Paulauskas, the committee's chairman, has told BNS that, in his opinion, there are shortcomings in the SSD's proposals.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanian leaders in search for alternative air transportation after incidents

The Lithuanian president and prime minister have alerted on Tuesday that Lithuania must find...

Failed attempt in Seimas to make constitutional changes more difficult

Prior to starting deliberations regarding changes on the number of members of Seimas, Liberal...

Lithuania's LSDP party backs EU Commissioner in presidential election

Vytenis Andriukaitis , European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, is leading the race for the...

Presidential election campaign kicks off in Lithuania

The campaign for presidential election in Lithuania officially started on Monday with seven candidates...

Ruling party moves to cut MP seats to 121

Lawmakers of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS) say that will table a new draft...