EU DisinfoLab, a Brussels-based NGO on Wednesday reported to have uncovered a worldwide network of 265 fake media outlets in 65 countries, targeting the US, Canada, Brussels, Geneva and many more, which all serve Indian lobbying interests.
The Independent European Union NGO which aims to "counter disinformation, fostering civic initiative through innovation an cooperation" has listed sites such as New York Morning Telegraph, The Dublin Gazette, and Times of Portugal and said they were "serving Indian governmental interests".
BREAKING: We uncovered a worldwide network of 265 fake media outlets in 65 countries, targeting the US, Canada, Brussels, Geneva and many more, which all serve Indian lobbying interests. (1/9)— EU DisinfoLab?? (@DisinfoEU) November 13, 2019
Interactive map: https://t.co/4rjraj3FWF pic.twitter.com/xp5pb0JXrz
The NGO found out that these outlets republish content from several news agencies (KCNA, Voice of America, Interfax). Most of them are named after an extinct local newspaper or spoof real media outlets. These websites have Twitter handles too and mostly publish anti-Pakistan content. They also contain the republication of articles and videos by politicians and think tanks that support Indian geopolitical interests.
The report also linked the visit of the visit of 27 members of the EU parliament that visited Jammu and Kashmir in October. The report mentions that it found out a website, EP Today, which is a "self-proclaimed magazine for the European Parliament"
"EU DisinfoLab quickly discovered that EP Today is managed by Indian stakeholders, with ties to a large network of think tanks, NGOs, and companies from the Srivastava Group. We also found that the IP address of the Srivastava Group is also home to the obscure online media 'New Delhi Times' and the International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies (IINS), which are all based at the same address in New Delhi, India," the report further said.
"A few weeks later, 27 Members of the European Parliament were invited by IINS to visit Kashmir and to meet with Prime Minister Modi," the report said.
The NGO also mentioned the reason for these fake media outlets to exist. The report said that it is mainly to influence international institutions and elected representatives and to influence public perceptions on Pakistan by multiplying iterations.
The NGO also added that they will publish an extensive report in the coming next weeks.