Montenegro will have to protect voters from malicious content

There’s a serious security challenge before Montenegro: to protect integrity of the election process from malicious impact, as well as to protect constituency from hybrid threats that will try to impact the will of voters, the president of the Zagreb-based Hybrid Warfare Research Institute, Mr Gordan Akrap, told in an interview with the weekend edition of Dnevne Novine daily.

Mr Akrap last year published an analysis titled ‘the European Union and the Western Balkans: Possibilities, Challenges and Solutions’ in which he showed the state of affairs in all six countries of the region, including MNE. As for a main challenge for the Montenegrin authorities, he mentioned Russia’s influence on Serbian political representatives who wish to divide the Montenegrin society together with the Serbian Orthodox Church.

“The analysis shows complexity of various processes that the WB countries have been exposed to. Currently, there are so many interests overlapping in the region.”

When asked about his opinion on further development of situation, especially through the activities of SPC, he said: “It’s hard to expect that the Serbian Orthodox Church will stop with its activities. Moreover, we can expect they are going to be even more intensive with far more goals than we have now.”

On hybrid warfare and its significance, Mr Akrap told: “Hybrid threats include a whole range of possible activities that attempt to impose the will of the attacker on the target audience. Which means, methods and models in the attack will be used depends on the attacker’s capabilities, his assessment of the most effective actions and the time and spatial context of the event. Therefore, it all depends on the established goal and the target audience.”


Here’s what Mr Akrap suggests for fighting against something that hasn’t even been recognized as a problem (primarily referring to misinformation which hasn’t been recognized as such):

“In my view, there are two fundamental levels of possible action to counter the spread and impact of misinformation, as well as their recognition and disclosure. The first is to raise awareness that it is not always true what someone wrote somewhere. One should be able to read the information, to put it in the correct context, to check the authenticity, reliability, credibility and relevance of an author. One should know, but also want to check the read content, compare it with other third-party sources, and check the completeness and validity of the information. One should also know, which is extremely important, to read between the lines. Because, in this way, especially when it comes to aggressive type of information / news that encourages socially unacceptable, aggressive and negative actions, one can assume who is actually behind the news. This can also determine who is the actual author and what are the intentions of the person who released such information to the public.“

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