• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sweden eyeing Nato help in propaganda wars

TT/The Local · 26 Oct 2015, 09:09

Published: 26 Oct 2015 07:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Oct 2015 09:09 GMT+01:00

Sweden's Nordic neighbour Finland is already a member of StratCom, Nato's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, which has researched cyber warfare since 2014.

Based in Latvia, its main focus has been on Russia, which has been accused of carrying out social media campaigns to spread propaganda and allegedly false information in the Ukraine conflict.

"We need more competence and this is a new environment, a new arena, where a lot of things are happening to do with disinformation in various types of campaigns. You use this for different purposes to affect public opinion in other countries," Peter Hultqvist told Swedish public radio early on Monday morning.

"That's why we need to strengthen our competence but also participate in this environment with other countries," he added.

A forged document claiming that the Scandinavian country was actively supporting the Ukraine government in its conflict with Russia was circulated on social media earlier this year. And Swedish authorities must brush up on their skills to fight propaganda wars, said Hultqvist.

“I think we have great potential for improvement in that area,” he commented.

The StratCom centre also looks at how Nato could use online channels to launch its own information campaigns. But Sweden would not be part of that, according to the minister.

“That's not how I see it, but I view this as a way to build up competence. (…) We will not contribute to spreading falsehoods and disinformation. The most important thing is to uphold the truth,” he said.

Sweden's Security Service Säpo said earlier this year that the biggest intelligence threat against Sweden in 2014 came from Russia, which is largely credited with sparking increased Nato support in the traditionally non-aligned Nordic country.

A poll released last month suggested that 41 percent of Swedes are in favour of seeking membership in the military defence alliance, 39 percent are against the idea and 20 percent are uncertain.

Story continues below…

Sweden’s Social Democrat-led government has vowed not to join Nato. But it has moved to extend military cooperation with other neighbouring countries in recent months, in the face of rising tensions in the Baltic.

In April, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland announced far-reaching plans which Hultqvist described as “a direct response to aggressive Russian behaviour”. In September Sweden signed a new deal with Nato member Poland

In the same month the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper reported it had seen secret government documents suggesting that Sweden could get involved with a new elite Nato-linked force, UK-led 'JEF', set to be deployed in the event of war in the Baltics.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Drunken Christmas goat burner risks four years in jail
The Christmas goat looks at the fireworks and contemplates its future. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT

His singed eyebrows were a dead giveaway.

Joe Biden: 'Sweden has shown great leadership'
Joe Biden, left, and Stefan Löfven. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

US Vice President Joe Biden praised Sweden for "punching way above its weight" in the global refugee crisis.

Nepal's Sherpas rebuild Swedish mountain paths
Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain. Photo: Stockholms Universitet

Nepalese sherpas have been called in to improve hillwalking safety on Sweden's highest mountain Kebnekaise.

23 people tricked into renting the same Malmö apartment
Sweden's housing market is notoriously tricky. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

"I have never felt so stupid and so conned."

Sweden on standby to help earthquake-hit Italy
Rescue workers search through the debris. Photo: AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi

Swedish authorities are ready, if asked, to quickly assist Italy as it recovers from a deadly earthquake.

We harmed Sweden's teachers and should apologize: prof
A tired pupil at a school in Stockholm. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

"The situation is very worrying," says Professor Jonas Linderoth.

US keeper kicked off team for calling Swedes cowards
Hope Solo made her comments after Sweden knocked the US team out of the Olympics. Photo: Eugenio Savio/AP

The US team will be Hope-less for six months.

Five must-see cultural events in Sweden this weekend
Like The Bridge? You'll love one of the events we've picked out for this weekend. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

The summer is almost over but Sweden saved the best for last with these cultural events this weekend – including one that will make The Bridge fans happy.

Was there a secret plot to kill Swedish ex-UN chief?
Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN's Secretary General, pictured months before his death in 1961. Photo: TT

Ban Ki-moon wants to find out.

Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,376
jobs available