The 2019 federal election is just around the corner and many voters are already thinking about who they want to vote for to help better our nation. However, a report published by the Communication Security Establishment states that as it's only a few months until Canada's federal elections, foreign cyber interference may start to influence and harm the way that voters will be making their decisions. This report states that it is 'very likely' that cyber interference will start to meddle with the upcoming elections.
Yet, what exactly does this mean? A few months ago, Narcity reported on how it was likely that content posted by foreign countries will start to appear on Canadian's news feeds as a way to sway or influence our political opinion. This 'cyber interference' will use the internet and multiple social media platforms to either manipulate existing news or to misinform the Canadian audience about candidates.
However, this concept of cyber interference in elections isn't anything new and has already occurred in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections when a mass amount of fake news spread about both presidential candidates in an attempts to influence America's vote.
Now, according to new data that has been posted in the 2019 update of Cyber Threats to Canada we are about to face similar interference, just as the American elections did in 2016.
In the report, Russia is most commonly referred to as a foreign country who has influenced election votes in the past. However, it is not clear exactly what foreign bodies may target Canada during the upcoming election.
CTV News has highlighted exactly how these cyber interferences can harm our elections. One of the main reasons why this can be so dangerous to an upcoming election is that it can hide the facts that candidates wish to push forward about their campaign and can distract voters from important issues. In the long-run, this can also lead to the voter's distrust in the election process.
Cyber Threats to Canada highlights that the chances of foreign threats to elections have tripled since the last time a Canadian Federal election has occurred. This means that voters are 'very likely' to see misleading information throughout the election.
As Narcity has previously reported, the best thing to do when it comes to reading information about the federal election is to stay educated. Make sure to fact check the sources that you are reading and ensure you never share news unless you are positive that it's accurate.