It sounds unbelievable, but unfortunately, it is very real. The Act Implementing the Regulation (EU) on a Single Market for Digital Services gives the Agency for Communications Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia (AKOS) the role played by the State Security Service (which was also known as UDBA in Slovenia) under the former communist regime.
Recently, the Minister of Digital Transformation, Emilija Stojmenova Duh, enthusiastically posted on social media that a draft law implementing the (EU) Single Market for Digital Services Regulation had been prepared and called on people to engage in a public debate about it. For a minister who, upon taking office, said that the Golob government would “also tackle hate speech online,” her five minutes in the spotlight have apparently come when her totalitarian tendencies hit the light of day. This is, in fact, a law aimed at prosecuting and removing content on the internet that is undesirable to the ruling ideology. Among other things, it introduces the concept of “vetted researchers and trusted whistleblowers” who will report politically incorrect authors and content. The role of coordinator (a modern-day State Security Administration) will be taken over by the Agency for Communication Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia, which will set up a network of informants to report citizens to the authorities.
How did all of this start?
The bureaucratised European Union has, especially in recent years, been very eager to regulate every detail of the lives of EU citizens. Not only has it set up a system of complex and unrealistic regulations, but it has also begun to interfere with the values and worldviews of individuals. Any deviation from the ideas of liberal democracy is immediately labelled as hate speech. Thus, for Brussels and most national authorities and NGOs, any opposition to illegal migration, the LGBT agenda, transgenderism and other new-age corruptions is deemed an expression of backwardness that must be nipped in the bud. The matter has gone so far that today, countries where conservatives are in power are labelled illiberal and fascist.
Slovenia was also under attack from unelected European officials when the government was led by a right-wing political option. For example, the ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe), in its report on Slovenia, wrote that Article 297 (incitement to hatred and intolerance) of the Slovenian Criminal Code does not allow for sufficient sentences for those who spread so-called hate speech (although no one knows what exactly this even means). The report also regretted that Slovenia, after independence, abandoned Article 133 of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Criminal Code, as that formulation of the “verbal offence” would have made it easier to prosecute hate speech. Shortly afterwards, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the adoption of an extended list of “EU crimes” or “crimes against the EU”. It was already clear then that “hate speech”, which would include opposition to migration, would be defined as a “particularly serious crime” undermining EU values. The process is not yet complete, but the EU Regulation on the Single Market for Digital Services has arrived, which uses the word “disinformation” (a milder synonym for “hate speech” or “fake news”), and this Regulation is now being brought into Slovenian law by the Ministry for Digital Transformation.
What is disinformation?
Although “disinformation” is the most common word in the Regulation, there is no definition of what disinformation actually is. Obviously, the interpretation will be left to those who are assigned the role of “verified researchers and trusted applicants”. Just as an example.
If you have watched the movie Freefall (2013), you will remember the scene in the fast food restaurant. William Foster (Michael Douglas) was upset with the staff because the burger in the advertising photograph was different from the burger he was served. You’ve probably experienced it yourself, that the burger (or something else) in the commercial is something completely different from what you were offered. In post-modernist parlance, that is what we would call – disinformation. But you can be sure that the advertising image of a delicious and crispy burger (which magically transforms into soggy bread with meat and a rotten lettuce leaf in the actual restaurant) is not what the Regulation deems to be disinformation – instead, they are referring to political and ideological views and opinions that deviate from the direction of the European Union (EU) and the national governments of the day. And since the European Union bureaucracy today is oriented towards “wokeness” and left-wing (socialist) values flirting with cultural Marxism, any conservative position could be labelled as disinformation.
The new “disinformation”
Let’s look at a few more examples. It has long been thought (and serious scientists still believe it to be true) that there are only two sexes – male and female. However, the so-called woke ideology (aided by the LGBT agenda) claims that there are several genders. And because they are aggressive in imposing their own ideas, governments give in and persecute those who advocate two biological sexes. Therefore, the claim on social media that there are only two genders may be removed, and the author may even be prosecuted for spreading disinformation.
The same applies to the opposition to the claim that we are now witnessing global warming and that climate change is happening, and that it is man’s fault. Simply opposing this claim or scolding the authorities for raising taxes to combat alleged climate change will be considered, according to the post-modernist value system, to be inciting hostility and spreading disinformation. And if you claim that illegal migrants, most of whom receive money from the state, are eating into national budgets, you will be identified not only as a spreader of disinformation but also as a racist.
A blow to freedom of speech
The EU Regulation and the Slovenian law that is being drafted based on it are a direct blow to freedom of speech (and freedom in general), creating something even more sinister – digital snitching in Slovenia. While there are already examples of online policing in Europe (London Metropolitan Police), the Minister of Digital Transformation, Emilija Stojmenova Duh, wants the Agency for Communications Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia, as the authorised body for the implementation of the law, to set up a network of “verified researchers and trusted whistleblowers” who would apparently circulate the web and keep an eye out for disinformation or, as they put it, “illegal content”. This is very reminiscent of the days of totalitarian regimes, when the political police (the State Security Administration), through a network of informants, watched over the ideological behaviour, actions and opinions of citizens. The aforementioned Agency will therefore take on the role of the former State Security Administration, and “verified researchers and trusted whistleblowers” will take on the role of the network of the State Security Administration’s informants.
The law is, therefore, not intended to protect citizens (users) from “illegal content” online, but to protect the interests of the ruling elite and the dominant ideology. This is also why the terms are not clearly defined, and the very concept of the Regulation and the law is ambiguous. As such, it allows the authorities to interpret concepts and content as they wish (according to their own ideological preferences) and to use them as a pretext to silence critics online.