Canadians likely to be targeted by foreign actors in next election, cyber agency says

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  hallux  •  2 weeks ago  •  15 comments

By:   Lee Berthiaume The Canadian Press

Canadians likely to be targeted by foreign actors in next election, cyber agency says
And while political parties and candidates will likely be targeted in the next vote, "we assess that this activity is very unlikely to be part of a sophisticated cyber campaign against a particular Canadian political party or candidate."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



OTTAWA -- The federal cybersecurity agency is warning that Canadians are likely to run into some effort by foreign actors to influence or otherwise interfere with their right to vote in the next election.

The Communications Security Establishment also says in a new report released on Friday that holding an election during the COVID-19 pandemic could increase the threat of foreign interference because of the need to move more parts online.

But it expressed confidence in Elections Canada, saying: "While any modifications to the electoral process have the potential to increase the cyber threat, we assess that the planned changes do not substantially expand the cyber threat to Canada's democratic process."

The CSE report comes only weeks before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to kick off a federal election, sending Canadians to the polls for the second time since 2019.

Such an election will almost certainly look different than anything Canada has seen before because of the pandemic, with more activities and processes being moved online to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

One specific area of concern identified by the CSE was around an expected increase in the number of Canadians who vote by mail, with the agency warning foreign actors could try to use that as a way to undercut confidence in the election results.

"We assess that it is very likely that false information connecting voting by mail to voter fraud will circulate in Canada in relation to the next federal election," according to the report.

The CSE nonetheless believes such "false narratives" will pale in comparison to the rampant allegations of voter fraud during last year's U.S. presidential election, which were often perpetuated by Donald Trump and his supporters.

And while the CSE believes most Canadians will experience some type of attempt to influence them, it says Canada "remains a lower-priority target for online foreign influence activity relative to some other countries."

The fact Canada's federal elections remain paper-based is also held up as a major reason for confidence along with what CSE describes as Elections Canada's "robust" defences and several other measures adopted by the government in recent years.

The CSE report blames the majority of online attacks and threats to democratic processes in Canada and other parts of the world since 2015 on foreign governments, with most perpetrated by actors within Russia, China and Iran.

Canada is a potential target, according to the report, because of its active role on the world stage, which can have an impact on other countries, foreign groups and individuals.

"Threat actors may use cyber tools to target Canada's democratic process to change election outcomes, influence policy-makers' choice, impact governmental relationships with foreign and domestic partners, and impact Canada's reputation around the world," it said.

And while Canada may have good defences and not be a major target now, the CSE said a growing number of actors have the tools, capacity and understanding of this country's political landscape to take action in the future "should they have the strategic intent."

The number of attacks on elections around the world rose substantially between 2015 and 2017, according to the CSE, but has since stabilized. And while the threats have become more sophisticated, so have the measures adopted by governments to protect themselves.

Voters are more frequently targeted than political parties and actual elections, the CSE added, likely because foreign actors believe it is easier and more effective.

And while political parties and candidates will likely be targeted in the next vote, "we assess that this activity is very unlikely to be part of a sophisticated cyber campaign against a particular Canadian political party or candidate."


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Hallux
Freshman Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    2 weeks ago

Although there will be a slight rise of mail in votes due to Covid the vast majority of eligible voters will show up in person just to see who is still alive.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2  Ender    2 weeks ago

Seems our Northern neighbor is having the same problems we are.

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
2.1  devangelical  replied to  Ender @2    2 weeks ago

they're overrun with trumpsters too? gee, maybe we should build another wall... /s

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.1.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  devangelical @2.1    2 weeks ago

Walls and fences make for bad neighbors.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Ender @2    2 weeks ago

To a far less degree. Canada does not use vote counting machines, that conspiracy B.S. does not work up here. As to social media, Canada is just as open as the US is to dumbfuck propagandists.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Foreign actors, OMG the US is involved headed up by the ''Deep State''

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
3.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Kavika @3    2 weeks ago

The US has always been involved in Canada's affairs, at times benignly at others maliciously.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Hallux @3.1    2 weeks ago

1812 was a bad year for US Canadian relations.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

The Battle of Stoney Creek convinced Americans to give up trying to annex Canada.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.3  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1.2    2 weeks ago

First Nations and Native Americans played an instrumental part in the defeat of the US. Of course they were screwed over by both sides after the war.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @3.1.3    2 weeks ago

We did study about Tecumseh in our school courses of Canadian History.  He was an exceptional defender of Upper Canada (Ontario) from the Americans.

Note the entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia - "The Savior of Upper Canada" .

.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1.4    2 weeks ago

LOL.  I just noticed that the Canadian Encyclopedia must have been written in the USA, because of the way they spelled "Saviour".

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
4  seeder  Hallux    2 weeks ago

"we assess that this activity is very unlikely to be part of a sophisticated cyber campaign against a particular Canadian political party or candidate."

This part is probably true, all of Canada's political parties have at least one or two legions of useful idiots.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago
"The fact Canada's federal elections remain paper-based is also held up as a major reason for confidence along with what CSE describes as Elections Canada's "robust" defences and several other measures adopted by the government in recent years."

A point I've made a number of times on this site.  Nation wide universal consistency is another (as compared to "Different strokes for different States"). 

Canadians are also very fair-minded - one of my favourite stories is how the Conservative Party committed suicide by posting an attack ad that pointed to Liberal leader Jean Chretien's partial facial disability caused by Bell's Palsy asking "Would you trust this man?"  

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
6  Trotsky's Spectre    2 weeks ago

Washington has been pressuring various countries to take this line. Heavy pressure was put on Australia to pass anti-foreign interference laws. Ironically, this foreign interference was supposed to be overlooked by the Australian government. Oh, the irony.

 
 
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