On 21 April, Access Now published Fighting misinformation and defending free expression during COVID-19: recommendations for states — a series of recommendations for protecting freedom of expression and opinion and the right to impart and receive information.

“Hasty and shortsighted solutions to disinformation and misinformation endanger human rights. There will be an aftermath to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the measures governments put in place right now will determine what that looks like, ” said Eliska Pirkova, Europe Policy Analyst at Access Now. “Under no circumstances should any government allow people’s fundamental rights to fall victim to this pandemic.”

“Information is crucial to power and control, and there is an inherent imbalance between individuals and the state or large private entities,” said Fanny Hidvégi, Europe Policy Manager at Access Now. “Openness about information, measures taken, and policies is not a hindrance to an effective COVID-19 response. On the contrary, it is the foundation of trust in public authorities which is essential in tackling the spread of the disease.”