Swedish PM Löfven warns of fake news concerns ahead of 2018 election

Swedish PM Löfven warns of fake news concerns ahead of 2018 election
Swedish PM Stefan Löfven. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
There is no reason to believe the 2018 Swedish general election will be exempt from outside attempts to influence it through fake news stories, the country's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has written in an opinion piece.

In the article in newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN), Löfven cites the 2016 US Presidential election as an example of a foreign state working to influence a vote. The PM will soon present a serious of actions designed to increase Swedish society’s capacity to resist similar attempts.

Swedish security police Säpo will work to raise knowledge among political parties about so-called influence operations (operations focused on affecting the behaviours of groups of populations). They will for example learn about the ways in which unauthorized persons can gain access to information systems, spread misleading information, and how to protect themselves from that.

Last week Säpo revealed that it investigated several suspected spies working for key Swedish agencies in 2016.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) will also gather together representatives of both mass media and social media for dialogue on cyber security.

Löfven has invited all of the Riksdag's party leaders for a joint review of the threat situation from Säpo.

“This is an issue which is above party politics and positions. It affects the foundations of our society,” he wrote.

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