Democracy defends on information

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright joined us recently in Brussels to talk about the future of democracy, offering her views on the impact of disinformation on our democratic processes.

While the phenomenon of disinformation is not new, the growth of digital technologies has accelerated the volume and speed with which false stories and junk news are spread to influence public opinion.

The issue is climbing higher in the list of public concerns, with recent polls showing 83% of Europeans think fake news is a threat to democracy. 

Secretary Albright shares this view and she argues that adversaries of democracy are seeking to seed confusion and discord in and amongst nation states through hybrid warfare, which includes the poisoning of information – the essence of democracy.

In this #TechTalk Secretary Albright discusses how the international community should respond to these phenomena by establishing international rules to underpin our collective security strategies in order to defend our democracies on the new battleground of cyberspace.

Since leaving public office, Secretary Albright’s diplomatic activities have included chairing a group of experts in 2009 to develop a new Strategic Concept for NATO, that expanded the definition of conventional warfare to include hybrid threats such as cyber. At the time the group grappled with the question of how to respond to cyber attacks such as the one unleashed on Estonia in 2007 and debated whether such events should and would trigger an Article V response of collective defense.

According to Secretary Albright, NATO needs to continue to keep pace with the times and recognize that collectively defending cyberspace is essential to upholding democratic processes and protecting our future.

Watch our #TechTalk in full here: 


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