VDD observes an increase in aggression on the Internet

In the last week, during the dismantling of the "monument" in Uzvaras park, Latvian State Security Service (VDD) observed the highest level of aggression on the Internet since Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

In order to identify possible threats to the security of Latvia VDD, within the scope of its competence, continuously follows the processes in Latvia’s information space. During the dismantling of the "monument" in Uzvaras park, every day VDD identified and assessed several thousands of comments and hundreds of video materials which were aimed against Latvia, population of various nationalities, those who were dismantling the "monument" and those supporting that.

Based on VDD’s monitoring data, last week the level of aggression in the social networks was the highest since Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. Since 22 August 2022 VDD has identified several hundreds of persons who have published aggressive content.

In these cases VDD implemented measures for assessing and preventing the potential threats. Preventive talks have already been held with those authors of aggressive comments whose statements were already on the verge of triggering national hatred or inciting to violence. Persons have been warned about the liability in case of committing a crime. At the moment VDD continues to hold preventive talks with the rest of the identified persons. Likewise in several cases VDD continues to assess the published content which indicates about possible elements of a criminal offence.

The case analysis conducted by VDD indicates that around 10% of the aggressive comment authors are Latvian nationals living abroad. VDD recalls that residing outside the territory of Latvia does not exempt from liability. If elements of a criminal offence are established in the published content, VDD uses legal tools to bring persons to justice. In such cases VDD cooperates with foreign intelligence and security services and law enforcement institutions.

VDD recalls that a person may be held criminally liable for such criminal offences as invitation to take action against national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of the Republic of Latvia (Section 81 of the Criminal Law), for public glorification of genocide or war crimes (Section 741 of the Criminal Law) and for deliberate incitement to violence against persons of a particular nationality (Section 78 of the Criminal Law).

VDD is grateful to those members of public who have provided information and calls also further on to inform about persons whose expressions in online environment might indicate about possible threats to the security of Latvia and its society. Please contact VDD via e-mail , the official Twitter account @Valsts_drosiba or call +37167208964 (available 24/7).

VDD is the counterintelligence and internal security service of Latvia whose activities are aimed at identifying and preventing possible threats to Latvia’s national security. VDD’s main competences are counterintelligence, protection of state secrets, protection of constitutional order, economic security, counterterrorism, protection of dignitaries and pre-trial investigation.

Information prepared by VDD
Illustrative photo/ Pixabay