The new Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) complex is pictured in Ottawa on October 15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Foreign countries will try to twist Canadian opinion online in 2019, feds warn

The federal cybersecurity centre says foreign countries are very likely to try to advance their agendas in 2019.

Canada’s federal cybersecurity centre says foreign countries are very likely to try to advance their agendas in 2019 — a general election year — by manipulating Canadian opinion with malicious online activity.

In a report today, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security warns that state-sponsored players can conduct sophisticated influence operations by posing as regular people.

The centre says these online actors create social media accounts or hijack existing profiles, and even set up “troll farms” of employees paid to comment on traditional media websites, social media and anywhere else they can reach their target audience.

The new centre, a wing of the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s electronic spy agency, brings together experts from the CSE, Public Safety and Shared Services.

The CSE warned in a report for the Liberal government last year that cyberthreat activity against the democratic process is increasing around the world, and Canada is not immune.

Mounting evidence has since pointed to online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Read more: Paternity leave, deficit, cybersecurity: what to expect in the 2018 federal budget

Read more: Servers used by Islamic State propaganda sites seized in Canada

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Blockades violating people’s rights to move freely

Too many protesters clearly believe their rights supersede other citizens’ rights, says letter writer

Students projected to be in new wing of École Hammond Bay in two years

Project to expand north-end French immersion school to add 13 classrooms

Crimson Coast Dance Society salutes African dance during Black History Month

Dancers from Mozambique, Rwanda and Cameroon to give demonstrations and lessons

Nanaimo Clippers, clad in Snuneymuxw jerseys, win in OT

BCHL team wins both its weekend games to stay in contention for first place on the Island

Nanaimo-bound ferry breaks down, but another available for service

Two sailings cancelled Sunday on Tsawwassen-Duke Point route

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Captain says nothing beats VIU volleyball program

Graduating player Andrea Cankovic has three national titles and isn’t quite done yet

Quilting a labour of love for Nanaimo women’s church group

Hope Lutheran women craft 1,000 quilts for humanitarian cause

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Most Read