Ottawa Could Regulate Facebook, Twitter Ahead of Elections

Following a report released earlier today by the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould has said that social media firms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google must help safeguard the upcoming elections by promoting transparency and authenticity on their platforms (via Reuters).

Social media

According to CSE, Canada’s electronic signals spy agency responsible for protecting government electronic information and communication networks, it is very likely that foreign actors will try to interfere in the election, although the report did not mention any specific threat from Russia.

Gould said that she has been disappointed by the slowness of talks with social media firms and that if Ottawa did not see enough progress, it may “need to look at other mechanisms” to regulate the companies:

“We are having active conversations with our partners and allies around the world as to what this would look like in the Canadian context … if there was a moment and opportunity we would seriously look into how we can move forward,” she said.

“It is very likely that Canadian voters will encounter foreign cyber interference ahead of, and during, the 2019 general election,” said the CSE, which noted democratic governments around the world were experiencing more cyber attacks.

CSE’s report, however, noted that it is unlikely a foreign cyber campaign against the Canadian elections would be as major as the one Russian actors launched during the 2016 U.S. elections.