Atlantic Council of Montenegro has recognized the need for establishing Digital Forensic Center that would be located in Montenegro with main goal to strengthen the civil-society groups and media sectors in Montenegro and neighboring countries as well with an aim to counter disinformation and misinformation campaigns that have had a goal of destabilizing the region’s politics and to prepare them to react on these concrete problems. That is why we placed the foundation for digital hub that fights new media and digital disinformation through the multi-sector and multidisciplinary approach.

DFC focuses its activities on accomplishing following objectives: countering the problem of misinformation and fake news through research of titles and articles content that seem to be propaganda and providing verified information based on the deeper investigation; creating Digital Intelligence Research Unit under DFC as a huge step in developing research activities in Western Balkans region, especially in terms of technology and internet and reducing problem of digital/new media illiteracy through events, workshops, and lectures that raise awareness of this issue and provide basic understanding and education for civil servants and journalists from the Western Balkans region.

The team is well-rounded, consisted of people from various fields, such as political sciences, journalism and IT sectors, who cooperate closely with the Atlantic Council of the US as well as with the Institute for Statecraft, UK. It’s also worth mentioning that we are part of the Integrity Initiative, a network of people and organizations from across Europe dedicated to revealing and combating propaganda and disinformation with a view to educate on how to spot disinformation and verify sources. Task force of Digital Forensic Center has acquired necessary hardware and software as well as the relevant skills through various training courses with foreign experts on cyber security, disinformation and media with more to follow in upcoming months, both in Montenegro and abroad.

The problem is broader than any individual country or actor spreading disinformative narratives. The response to malign influence must engage governments, international institutions, civil-society groups, and the private working together and learning from each other. These campaigns are synchronized and systematic, so the response must be as well.