April 7, 2023

By Nicolas Hénin, EU DisinfoLab

The acronym FIMI (Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference) has recently met a lot of success and is consequently increasingly used. It has become widespread in the European Union, within the European External Action Service (EEAS) and across the Member States. Therefore, it deserves to be well understood and cautiously defined. In fact, FIMI overlaps to a considerable extent with disinformation but some nuances need to be brought up: not all disinformation is FIMI, and FIMI is not only disinformation. Eventually, the phenomenon pushes us to consider state-sponsored manipulations of information in a new light, at the crossroads of influence operations and cyber-security, to develop effective counter-measures better.

The main developments are three-fold:

  • Firstly, a refocusing of interest on behaviour and operating methods;
  • Secondly, increased use of terms and processes from cyber-threat intelligence (CTI);
  • Thirdly, a holistic approach mobilising whole-of-society’s resources, favouring the adoption of common terminology.

This evolution is welcome as it sets the bases for a better collective appropriation of threat terminologies and responses. However, it will have to translate from a descriptive effort to an actual operational framework to expand its impact on the information ecosystem and impose costs on disinformation actors.

Click on the below button to read this technical document:

On 13 April, Nicolas Hénin hosted a webinar digging deeper on this FIMI technical document. The replay is available from our YouTube channel (click on the below play button).