The online hacker group Anonymous said on Friday that the British government has created a “large-scale information secret service” across Europe, the US and Canada to meddle into the domestic affairs of European nations.
Citing a “large number” of leaked documents, Anonymous claimed that Integrity Initiative, a network of clusters across Europe and North America launched in autumn 2015 to “reveal and combat propaganda and disinformation”, was in reality a project funded and operated by London through “concealed contacts in British embassies.”
“The Integrity Initiative is a partnership of several independent institutions led by The Institute for Statecraft. This international public programme was set up in 2015 to counter disinformation and other forms of malign influence being conducted by states and sub-state actors seeking to interfere in democratic processes and to undermine public confidence in national political institutions. You will find details on the website (https://www.integrityinitiative.net/), and you can follow the programme on its Twitter account or on Facebook (both @InitIntegrity).
The Institute for Statecraft is a not-for-profit charity dedicated to education in good governance and to enabling societies to adapt to a rapidly changing world. It conducts research, promotes models of best practice, runs programmes for societal development, and actively challenges threats to social harmony and democratic values. The Institute is financed primarily by grant support to its programmes.
For its first two years, the Integrity Initiative was funded by private individuals. Funding for 2017 and 2018 was provided by a grant from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). This reflects their appreciation of the importance of the threat, and a wish to support civil society programmes seeking to rebuild the ability of democratic societies to resist large scale, malicious disinformation and influence campaigns