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(DOC) SIS Ordered to Block 52 Anonymous Sites that Allegedly Disseminate Fake News About Covid-19

20 March 2020
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On 19 March, the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) ordered to block 52 anonymous sites that allegedly disseminate fake news about the coronavirus pandemic. The document signed by the SIS Director, Alexandru Saulenco, states that the measures are valid during the period of the state of emergency, declared by the authorities until 15 May. Sites that will be blocked include stopfals.com, pamphlets.com, acasaebine.site, moldovandream.com, ziaruldeazi.info, jurnal-stiri.site, etc.

According to SIS, the measure was taken after the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova declared state of emergency and after it was stated the alarming situation concerning the spread of the infection that became the subject of certain news and campaigns ‘aimed at generating panic, tension and social conflicts, massively disseminated in the world wide web by certain anonymous information websites’. According to the document issued on 19 March, ‘SIS found that the anonymous administrators of these fake news sites are interested in designing subversive activities in the information space, that are able, during the crisis period, to affect the information security of the Republic of Moldova and cause social hatred, mass disorder and undermine the security of the Republic of Moldova’.

As regards the list of sites to be blocked, SIS stated that the registers of the commercial and non-commercial legal entities of the Republic of Moldova do not contain the names of such information broadcasters, which appear as news agencies and therefore benefit of legal guarantees according to the law.

Recently, the President of the country, Igor Dodon, said he would propose measures to penalize media institutions that would publish fake news about the pandemic. Such requests have previously been made in the Parliament’s plenary too. This initiative was criticized by legal experts.