The worst perpetrator of false information is Donald Trump, the President of the United States according to UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye.
An interview published in Digital Rights Monitor, Kaye said, “Governments are real offenders when it comes to disinformation. Governments are putting out false information. In my own country, the United States, the worst perpetrator of false information is the President of the United States.”
Kaye is a professor of law at University of California, Irvine and has also been serving as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion since 2014.
In the interview, Kaye highlighted threats to online freedom of expression and the role that journalists play in bringing fake news to light. What caught most people’s attention was how he described Donald Trump.
Kaye believes that the problems of fake news are understood well by journalists, and proactive reporting about privacy violations is the need of the hour.
The image the 2018 Freedom House report paints isn’t the best — internet freedom worsened in 26 countries, out of a total of 65 countries which were studied. It also pointed out that a significant number of countries were increasing surveillance to fight fake news.
In India itself, the past week saw two notifications from the Government of India along similar lines — MHA notified 10 agencies empowering them to get any information through any computer and MEITY proposed changes to the IT Act to address the issue of fake news with the possibility of breaking encryption for some online intermediaries.