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Disinformation, Foreign Interference Threatening Canada’s Electoral System, Elections Watchdog Warns

June 23rd, 2022 15:04

Cana­di­an media is report­ing that Canada’s chief elec­tion watch­dog has warned that online dis­in­for­ma­tion and for­eign inter­fer­ence are two of the biggest threats fac­ing Canada’s elec­toral sys­tem. Accord­ing to a CBS News report:

June 22, 2022 Dis­in­for­ma­tion and for­eign inter­fer­ence are two of the biggest threats fac­ing Canada’s elec­toral sys­tem and it will take every­one work­ing togeth­er to counter them, says Canada’s chief elec­tion watch­dog.  Speak­ing in an inter­view with CBC News to mark the end of his 10-year term as Com­mis­sion­er of Cana­da Elec­tions, Yves Côté said online dis­in­for­ma­tion is one of the biggest chal­lenges he’s had to face and not­ed that it can be dif­fi­cult to be opti­mistic about the future.   “I think there are all kinds of chal­lenges that are lurk­ing and some of them are becom­ing per­haps worse as we move on with time,” Côté said.   How­ev­er, he not­ed there is a solu­tion if var­i­ous groups can work togeth­er.  “Nobody should just get dis­cour­aged and aban­don the fight or aban­don the project,” he said.  “I think many peo­ple have to con­tribute and I think that it’s a job of politi­cians of all stripes, of insti­tu­tions, of media, of aca­d­e­mics. It’s all kinds of peo­ple that have to pull togeth­er and say this is a danger.”

Read the rest here.

Recent Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report cov­er­age of for­eign inter­fer­ence in Cana­da has included:

  • In April, we report­ed that the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment is “on high alert” against Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion attempts against the country.
  • In Jan­u­ary, we report­ed that the Cana­di­an Secu­ri­ty Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, Canada’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, was warn­ing that Chi­na’s efforts to dis­tort the news and influ­ence media out­lets in Cana­da “have become nor­mal­ized” and “more sophis­ti­cat­ed, fre­quent, and insidious.
  • In Novem­ber, we report­ed that Canada’s Cyber Cen­tre said for­eign influ­ence rep­re­sents “col­lat­er­al dam­age” for Canada.