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Emergency Response Committee: The ISS Will Pay Attention to the Websites Distributing Fakes about COVID-19 during the State of Emergency

01 April 2021
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During the state of emergency, the Information and Security Service (ISS) will be in charge of monitoring websites spreading fake news about COVID-19. It was announced by the interim Prime Minister Aureliu Ciocoi during the press briefing held after the Emergency Response Committee (ERC) meeting.

“The Information and Security Service will approve and publish the list of online content sources spreading fake news about the evolution of COVID-19 and take appropriate protection and prevention steps,” Aureliu Ciocoi declared.

The meeting of the Emergency Response Committee was held on April 1; a day earlier, the Parliament voted for announcing a state of emergency in the Republic of Moldova until May 30.

The ERC members also decided to apply a special regime for the movement of persons in Chisinau and Balti. At the same time, starting with April 3, staying outside from 23:00 to 5:00 shall be forbidden, with certain exceptions such as business trips, etc. In addition, staying in parks and recreational areas is prohibited. Another step aims to establish a special work regime: employers will have to ensure the presence of up to 30% of the staff in their offices. The list of all the restrictions imposed is to be published on the Government’s website.

A year ago, when the first state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, the ISS requested blocking dozens of websites allegedly spreading fake information about COVID-19. In this context, the non-governmental media organizations addressed the authorities not to allow breaches of freedom of expression or disproportionate restrictions motivated by the special conditions of the state of emergency.

Follow the links to read a comment from the IT entrepreneur Vitalie Esanu about the methods for “blocking” a website and simple ways to “unlock” it and an opinion of the lawyer Tatiana Puiu about “the state combating fake news and balancing between censorship and respect for human rights”