Committee calls for review of the UK's Counter Disinformation Unit

15/04/2024 | UnHerd

A new report by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has raised serious concerns over the UK government's Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU), calling for an independent review due to its perceived lack of transparency and accountability. The report recommends that the government commission an independent review of the CDU's activities and strategy, with a final report being presented to Parliament within twelve months. 

The CDU faced criticism from the digital rights group Big Brother Watch (BBW) after reports of the CDU's surveillance extending to former government ministers. Conservative MP and former junior minister Paul Scully defended the unit last year, stating that it does not monitor the activities of individual citizens but instead focuses on narratives, trends, and attempts to manipulate the online information environment.

In a statement following the publication of the report, BBW director Silkie Carlo said: "This is a very welcome and long overdue intervention on the highly secretive activities of the UK Government’s Counter Disinformation Unit" and that "the Unit should be immediately suspended and subjected to a full investigation."

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CCTV, Surveillance

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