On October 14, 2020, a letter of 15 EU countries, concerning disinformation about 5G, was sent to the EU. The initiator of the letter was the government of Poland. Support for the initiative was provided by 14 EU countries and, including Poland, 15 countries penned the letter: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and Sweden.

The letter speaks about disinformation, so here are few terms to compare disinformation with misinformation.

  • Misinformation: false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.
  • Disinformation: false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media.
  • Misinformation vs. Disinformation: Disinformation is false information that is deliberately spread to mislead others. While disinformation may result in chaos, it’s anything but arbitrary. Misinformation, on the other hand, can be a result of disinformation. It refers to inaccurate information or content that is unintentionally or mistakenly shared.

EU consists of 27 countries. It is puzzling why the Government of Poland, in its initiator’s capacity, didn’t contact all of the EU Member States. Here are the EU countries that were not involved in the letter: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain. I am not going to speculate, but just wonder, why the largest EU Member States, such as Germany, France, Spain or Italy, were not included.

Signatories of the letter are complaining about disinformation but don’t clearly specify whom they have in mind, solely the anti-5G activist movement or others, like ICNIRP and telecoms too.

Anti-5G movement has become very active and, surprise/no-surprise, social media based on the internet infrastructure, are enabling spread of information, misinformation and disinformation.

Signatories also are condemning the actions of illegally damaging infrastructure, taken by some activists. It is obvious that such illegal actions should be condemned, and also I have done it in my writings.

Signatories present a list of measures that EU should take.

  • The first proposed measure is prevention of spread of disinformation on the effects of EMF and, especially, of the 5G. Here, the Signatories ask for assistance from EU.
  • The second proposed measure is calling for more scientific research, for an awareness campaign and for all-inclusive debate with citizens of the EU.
  • The third measure the Signatories offer assistance from own experts.
  • The fourth, and last, measure is the recognition of the concerns that EU citizens have in respect of EMF and 5G. The Signatories intention is for the EU-wide campaign to increase trust of EU citizens in the information provided on EMF and on 5G.

All of these measures are obvious and all are correct. There is a need for correct information, for scientific research, for interaction between EU bodies and states in providing correct information and, finally, for activities that would increase trust of citizens in the information provided by EU bodies and Member States.

However, how these measures will be executed is what will be of the paramount importance.

The disinformation is being disseminated not only by anti-5G activists. It is also disseminated by ICNIRP, telecoms and Member States radiation protection organizations.

ICNIRP claims safety is assured by using ICNIRP safety guidelines but it is not so straightforward and there are many questions about ICNIRP that need answers before full trust can be achieved. I have written an Open Message to ICNIRP’s Eric van Rongen and Rodney Croft, asking for clarifications for the several stances that ICNIRP has taken when preparing 2020 Safety Guidelines (An Open Message to ICNIRP’s Eric van Rongen and Rodney Croft). I am hoping to receive answer some day.

Telecoms claim that the safety is assured by using ICNIRP safety guidelines. Telecoms have increased their “presence” in the news media and numerous articles complaining about anti-5G activists were written. The problem is that apart of some correct information, these articles contain also incorrect information. It is that telecoms fight activists misinformation with own, telecom’s misinformation. Telecoms have an upper hand here because the news media provide for them an easy forum to disseminate telecom’s misinformation as commonly accepted “truths”.

The same goes for the radiation protection institutions of EU States. These organizations follow science interpretation and recommendations of ICNIRP and, in this way, disseminate partly correct and partly incorrect information.

The issues of continuation of scientific research and help that can be provided by experts from EU Member States is an obvious proposition. However, it requires funding (for research) and requires “guts” to support initiative that would potentially omit/ignore ICNIRP and provide a more reliable expert organization with clear no-conflict-of-interests membership and with diverse opinions on science and its interpretation.

It will be interesting to see what will happen and how EU will address the issue of disinformation on EMF and 5G. The anti-5G activists are not the sole guilty party. Will EU dare to counter ICNIRP monopoly on “correct” science interpretation? Will EU address the disinformation spread not only by activists but also by ICNIRP and telecoms and radiation protection organizations?

If the goal of the letter, by the 15 EU countries, and of the EU will be restoration of trust, then they should address the problems of disinformation by activists, by, ICNIRP, by radiation protection organizations and by telecoms.

I hope it will not be what I envisioned in my tweet: “what the authors of this letter have in mind is the full approval for the scientific and technological dictate from telecoms and ICNIRP. Anyone questioning telecoms or ICNIRP will be condemned… ICNIRP has monopoly for “truth” as “approved” by telecoms.”

How the measures listed in the letter will be executed by the EU will determine whether trust will be restored and correct information will be provided.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Dariusz Leszczynski