Marija Ristic, Milica Stojanovic, Miroslava German Sirotnikova, Akos Keller-Alant, Hamdi Firat Buyuk, Anja Vladisavljevic, Marcel Gascón Barberá and Madalin Necsutu write:
…. Just in the last two weeks, 80 people have been arrested, some of them jailed, for spreading fake news and disinformation, with the most draconic examples in Turkey, Serbia, Hungary and Montenegro.
Governments in Montenegro and Moldova made public the personal health data of people infected with COVID-19, while official websites and hospital computer systems suffered cyberattacks in Croatia and Romania. Some countries like Slovakia are considering lifting rights enshrined under the EU General Data Protection Regulation, while Serbia imposed surveillance and phone tracking to limit freedom of movement.
In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, some governments are enhancing surveillance, increasing censorship, and restricting the free flow of information, warned Allie Funk, Research Analyst for Freedom on the Net, a Freedom House team monitoring internet freedom.
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