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

Heart of our city – Fighting for the road to recovery

World champion kick-boxer wins at Trinity House recovery program

Tour recognizes Prince Rupert’s rich labour history

Epic story of the Battle of Kelly’s Cut put Rupert on the labour radar

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Oily rain runoff down the drain causes concern for Prince Rupert residents

Immediate action taken to alleviate any concerns, road paving contractor said.

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

The Northern View presents the second annual Tyee Fishing Derby

More than $15,000 is up for grabs in cash and prizes

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Most Read