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The story of the 20th century was also the story of the battle against censorship. But what happens when a powerful actor systematically abuses freedom of information to spread disinformation? Uses freedom of speech in such a way as to subvert the very possibility of a debate? And does so not merely inside a country, as part of vicious election campaigns, but as part of a transnational military campaign? Since at least 2008, Kremlin military and intelligence thinkers have been talking about information not in the familiar terms of “persuasion,” “public diplomacy” or even “propaganda,” but in weaponized terms, as a tool to confuse, blackmail, demoralize, subvert and paralyze.

Like freedom of information, free dialogue between cultures is key to the liberal vision of globalization. The more cultural exchange we have, the more harmony we will have. But what should we do when the Kremlin begins to use the Russian Orthodox Church and compatriot organizations abroad as elements of a belligerent foreign policy that aims to subvert other countries?

Source: The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money – 11/22/2014 – by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss.

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