If the criminal code gets amended, authorities will have the right to block harmful websites, Source: Depositphotos

Czechia considers making foreign-sourced disinformation a crime

Czechia considers making foreign-sourced disinformation a crime

Still reeling from the recent presidential election, which was rife with false rumours, the government wants to boost media sector resilience

There is a new action plan in the works, with which the Czech government would like to reform the national criminal code to include the intentional spreading of disinformation as a punishable offence.

Euractiv reported that the contents of the draft plan, which has not been released yet, are hinting at a needed reform in the legislation in order to clarify what constitutes disinformation and how it should be castigated.

The current legislation in the country does not address issues like propaganda and fake news in sufficient detail and as a consequence, the authorities’ hands are often tied. Apparently, the government plan would seek to amend the code in a way that would allow the police and judiciary to block disinformation sites that threaten national security.

The latter measure, however, could only be applied if proven that the disinformation originates from abroad.

Beef up the media and civic sectors

The proposal is not only about legislative tweaks, though. It also seeks to financially support the efforts of the institutions, such as respectable media outlets, as well as activist organisations in combating fake news and false rumours.

Again, according to Euractiv, 2 million euros would go to the civic sector and 4 million euros to the national media outlets. Czech government envoy for media and disinformation Michal Klíma said in an interview for Seznam Zpravy that in his opinion there should be grants for both large media and media start-ups.

Czech people were recently targeted by disinformation campaigns in the context of the presidential election that took place last month.

Experts pointed to various disinformation websites and extreme and pro-Russian forces backing the candidate Andrej Babiš in the run-up to the elections. The propaganda campaign seemed focused on painting his opponent General Petr Pavel as a warmonger, and at one point there were even rumours that he was dead. The latter being an attempt to discourage voters to go to the ballot box.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU