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Canadian Cyber Centre Says Foreign Influence Represents “Collateral Damage” For Canada

November 19th, 2020 14:58

The Cana­di­an Cen­tre for Cyber Secu­ri­ty (Cyber Cen­tre) has pub­lished it’s Nation­al Cyber Threat Assess­ment 2020. Although more focused on cyber threats such as hack­ing and theft of per­son­al infor­ma­tion, the report does assess the threat to Cana­di­ans posed by for­eign influ­ence operations:

A grow­ing num­ber of states have built and deployed pro­grams ded­i­cat­ed to under­tak­ing online influ­ence as part of their dai­ly busi­ness. Adver­saries use online influ­ence cam­paigns to attempt to change civ­il dis­course, pol­i­cy­mak­ers’ choic­es, gov­ern­ment rela­tion­ships, and the rep­u­ta­tion of politi­cians and coun­tries both nation­al­ly and glob­al­ly. They try to dele­git­imize the con­cept of democ­ra­cy and oth­er val­ues such as human rights and lib­er­ty, which may run con­trary to their own ide­o­log­i­cal views. They also try to exac­er­bate exist­ing fric­tion in demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­eties around var­i­ous divi­sive social, polit­i­cal, and eco­nom­ic issues. While online for­eign influ­ence activ­i­ties tend to increase around elec­tions, these ongo­ing cam­paigns have broad­ened in scope since 2018, expand­ing to react and adapt to cur­rent events, shift­ing their con­tent strate­gies around trend­ing news sto­ries and pop­u­lar polit­i­cal issues. As pre­dict­ed in NCTA 2018, Cana­di­ans have con­tin­ued to be the sub­ject of online for­eign influ­ence activ­i­ty. For instance, we have observed recent cam­paigns focus their con­tent around COVID-19 and gov­ern­ment respons­es to the pandemic.

Read the report here.

In Octo­ber. the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) post­ed sev­er­al times on the US Depart­ment of Home­land Security’s Octo­ber 2020 “Home­land Threat Assessment.”