Canada

Articles about voting issues in Canada.

Canada: Cyber security expert briefs parties on protecting themselves during election campaign | CBC

One of Canada’s top cyber security experts says he’s been quietly giving the main political parties threat briefings in the lead-up to the upcoming federal election. “It’s an ongoing conversation,” Scott Jones, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the Communications Security Establishment, told CBC News in an interview. “We told them basic cyber security matters. Taking action and thinking about how this could be turned against you is really important.” Earlier this week, Canada’s chief electoral officer raised concerns about the parties’ abilities to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

Full Article: Cyber security expert briefs parties on protecting themselves during election campaign | CBC News.

Canada: Chief electoral officer worries parties are weak link in cybersecurity chain | Calgary Herald

Canada’s chief electoral officer is “pretty confident” that Elections Canada has good safeguards to prevent cyberattacks from robbing Canadians of their right to vote in this year’s federal election. But Stephane Perrault is worried that political parties aren’t so well equipped. “They don’t have access to the resources we have access to,” Perrault said in an interview Monday, noting that “securing (computer) systems is quite expensive… Even the larger parties have nowhere near our resources and you’ve got much smaller parties with very little resources.” Moreover, with thousands of volunteers involved in campaigns, he said it’s difficult to ensure no one falls prey to “fairly basic cyber tricks,” like phishing, that could inadvertently give hackers access to a party’s databases. “You can spend a lot of money on those (security) systems and if the human (fails), that’s the weak link.”

Full Article: Chief electoral officer worries parties are weak link in cybersecurity chain | Calgary Herald.

Canada: Canada unveils plan to warn of potential election meddling | The Guardian

Canada will set up a special panel to warn voters of any attempts by foreign actors to interfere with a federal election set for October, senior government officials have said. The Democratic institutions minister, Karina Gould, said Ottawa expects social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to help safeguard the vote by promoting transparency, authenticity and integrity on their platforms. The announcement comes amid an investigation by US officials into connections between Donald Trump’s 2016 election win and Russian efforts to influence the vote. Canada’s response was also influenced by the fact that Britain, France and Germany had also experienced foreign interference in recent elections, Gould said. An impartial group of senior bureaucrats would monitor possible interference during the Canadian campaign and sound the alarm if they felt the vote could be compromised, Gould said.

Full Article: Canada unveils plan to warn of potential election meddling | World news | The Guardian.

Canada: Canada is a prime target for cybersecurity attacks in 2019 | IT World Canada

Get ready Canada.  The cybercriminals have you in their sights for 2019. Despite our smaller market size, Canada had the third most cyber incidents in the world last year, according to a recent study. This year’s federal election is likely to attract more “bad actors” who will try to use misinformation to influence public opinion, warns the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security in its latest threat assessment. Cybercrime against Canadian citizens and businesses, however, will be the biggest threat this year, the report says. “It is certain that Canadians will be affected by malicious online activity in the coming year,” said Scott Jones, head of the Cyber Security Centre.

Full Article: Canada is a prime target for cybersecurity attacks in 2019 | IT World Canada News.

Canada: Voting restrictions on expatriate citizens are unconstitutional, Supreme Court rules | The Globe and Mail

Barring expatriate Canadians from voting in federal elections is rooted in bygone days of horses and buggies and violates Canada’s modern constitution, says the Supreme Court, which on Friday ensured a lasting franchise for long-term non-residents. Two Canadians working in the United States, Gillian Frank and Jamie Duong, challenged federal voting restrictions after they were unable to vote in the federal election of 2011. At the time, the law said non-resident citizens could not vote if they had lived more than five years abroad.

Full Article: Voting restrictions on expatriate citizens are unconstitutional, Supreme Court rules - The Globe and Mail.

Canada: Supreme Court set to rule on voting rights for long-term expat Canadians | National Post

Long-term Canadian expats are set to find out on Friday whether a now-repealed 25-year-old law barring them from voting in federal elections was constitutional. The pending decision by the Supreme Court of Canada should settle a legal battle begun in earnest during the former Conservative government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper, and which gained prominence in the election that brought the Liberals under Justin Trudeau to office. Observers said they would be watching to see whether the country’s top court might justify limits on a constitutionally guaranteed right that potentially affects more than one-million Canadians who live abroad.

Full Article: Supreme Court set to rule on voting rights for long-term expat Canadians | National Post.

Canada: Former national security adviser questions feds’ plan to prevent election meddling | CTV

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former national security adviser is questioning whether federal departments are prepared for the risk of election meddling in 2019 and whether the federal Liberals’ legislation meant to tackle foreign interference goes far enough. “I don’t think that the reports that were issued by the government—by [the Communications Security Establishment (CSE)]—is comprehensive enough. I’m not sure the legislation that we have in place deals with all of this,” Richard Fadden said on CTV’s Question Period. “It goes to the issue again, of fake news. This is a different version of fake news, and we haven’t come to grips with it yet,” said Fadden, who also advised former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, and previously headed up CSIS, Canada’s spy agency.

Full Article: Former national security adviser questions feds' plan to prevent election meddling | CTV News.

Canada: Senator’s personal data leaked online in apparent Twitter hack | CTV

Conservative Senator Linda Frum’s Twitter account was hacked Sunday night, with those responsible sharing personal information including her drivers license and using racial slurs in their tweets. “hi linda, can u drive us to the mall please?” read one tweet. The tweet then shared an image of both the front and back of her drivers license, showing personal information including her address. No motive for the hack was made readily apparent, but the perpetrators tweeted that they “don’t appreciate corrupt politicians” and included an emoji of the Palestinian flag. The group of hackers linked accounts and referred to themselves as the “spank gang,” claiming to “run twitter.” The hacking comes just days after a high profile hacking incident in Germany, where multiple politicians and officials – including German Chancellor Angela Merkel – had personal details dumped online.

Full Article: Canadian senator's personal data leaked online in apparent Twitter hack | CTV News.

Canada: With election ahead, we need to make public records truly public | The Conversation

Citizens require access to public records in order to become properly informed about the activities of their governments and to provide sound feedback on government policies, plans and programs. However, many Canadian citizens have learned through experience that freedom of information (FOI) legislation is not properly serving citizens. As a result, they lack information and informed interactions with their elected representatives, and are reduced to musing about public affairs with other citizens. As a federal election year dawns, an alternative approach is needed — and soon, because the relationship between citizens and governments is under serious challenge. Claims of “fake news” are too often displacing discussions that are based on evidence.

Full Article: With election ahead, we need to make public records truly public.

Canada: Cybersecurity chief says jury still out on whether Russian disinformation bots are having any impact | The Province

‘Not everything is blatantly false,’ says Scott Jones. ‘Sometimes it’s a slight manipulation of the facts — just enough to sow division’. The head of Canada’s new cybersecurity centre says the jury is still out on whether state-sponsored disinformation campaigns are actually having any impact on voters’ intentions, but that Canadians should still use a “critical eye” when they read news online. “There’s a lot of research going on in terms of what the effect could be,” said Scott Jones, the head of the Communications Security Establishment’s newly-established Cyber Centre, at a press conference last week.

Full Article: Canada’s cybersecurity chief says jury still out on whether Russian disinformation bots are having any impact | The Province.

Canada: The next federal election will be a target for Russian meddling: Sajjan | Montreal Gazette

With a federal election less than a year away, Canada’s defence minister is warning voters they will be targeted by online cyber-attacks and fake news as Russia steps up its efforts to undermine western democracies. “We have taken this into account very seriously in our defence policy,” Harjit Sajjan said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “We need to further educate our citizens about the impact of fake news. No one wants to be duped by anybody.” Sajjan made the comments while attending a defence and security conference in Halifax, where experts, military officers and politicians representing democracies from around the world spent a great deal of time discussing cyber-warfare. “When we stand up for human rights, and when we stand up … to nations like Russia who are going against the rules-based order … you become a target,” Sajjan said, adding that Canada’s decision to protest Russia’s annexation of Crimea has also raised Russia’s ire.

Full Article: The next Canadian federal election will be a target for Russian meddling: Sajjan | Montreal Gazette.

Canada: Bill won’t stop hackers from sowing election confusion: watchdogs | iPolitics

Canada’s top two elections officials say a bill to modernize election laws will make it difficult to stop computer hackers from sowing chaos that confuses voters, deterring them from casting ballots and undermining confidence in the electoral system. Bill C-76, omnibus legislation to reform election laws, creates a new offence of computer interference in response to attempts by hackers in other countries to undermine the electoral process. While he supports the additional offence, chief electoral officer Stéphane Perrault says the bill requires proof that the offender intended to affect the result of the election. He says that qualifier will “greatly restrict the application of the new offence,” letting off the hook hackers who simply sow confusion.

Full Article: Bill won't stop hackers from sowing election confusion: watchdogs - iPolitics.

Canada: End online voting — it’s not worth the risk | Kitchener Post

Online voting has been used in Canada for about 15 years, but you’d never know it judging by the most recent municipal election. That looked like our first swing at cyber voting, as if we were still trying to iron out the wrinkles. But those were no mere wrinkles. Those weren’t glitches, or hiccups. That was an absolute meltdown, an unmitigated disaster for which inexperience is not an excuse. Though the meltdown affected more municipalities than our own, nowhere was the impact greater or more embarrassing than in Waterloo Region, where an entire community was left in limbo for almost 48 hours as it waited for the winner of the top political job to be announced. Yes, it’s easy to second guess in the aftermath of such a massive malfunction and the enormity of the disaster leaves plenty to criticize. But with the credibility of an election at stake, the scrutiny is warranted and analysis is necessary.

Full Article: Opinion | End online voting — it's not worth the risk | KitchenerPost.ca.

Canada: Election night glitch points to the ‘wild west’ of online voting, says cybersecurity expert | Ottawa Citizen

Online voters in 51 Ontario municipalities had either a few more hours or an extra day to vote after a 90-minute computer portal slowdown on election night. Affected municipalities in Eastern Ontario included Renfrew, Laurentian Valley, Pembroke, Petawawa, Whitewater, Belleville and Kingston — all clients of Colorado-based Dominion Voting. Dominion is one of four companies that supplied Ontario municipalities with services in this municipal election. On Monday night, Dominion posted a statement saying the glitch was the result of a Toronto co-location provider that placed an unauthorized limit on incoming voting traffic of about one-tenth of the system’s designated bandwidth. The company was unaware of the glitch until it was alerted by the municipalities that are its customers. In those 90 minutes, voters experienced slow response time and system timeouts. This points to problems with the “wild west” of online voting in Canada, said a cybersecurity expert.

Full Article: Election night glitch points to the ‘wild west’ of online voting, says cybersecurity expert | Ottawa Citizen.

Canada: Online voting causes headaches in 51 Ontario cities and towns | The Toronto Star

Glitches with a private online voting company impacted local elections in 51 cities and towns across the province on election day, causing at least six to extend voting hours until Tuesday in an example one expert says highlights the wild west of internet voting. Dominion Voting blamed the “slow traffic” that voters experienced just after 6 p.m. Monday on a third-party Toronto-based data centre placing an “unauthorized limit on incoming voting traffic,” in a press release sent to affected municipalities. … Aleksander Essexan assistant professor of software engineering at Western University, in London, Ont., said Dominion Voting is essentially “blaming it on their subcontractor,” adding it’s not clear why the entire website appeared to shut down temporarily. But the incident highlights bigger concerns with online voting, the use of which has been steadily growing in Ontario.  “Wild west is exactly the term I’ve been using,” he said. “It absolutely is dangerous for democracy.”

Full Article: Online voting causes headaches in 51 Ontario cities and towns | The Star.

Canada: Voting times extended in several Ontario municipalities due to online voting glitches | Global News

Several municipalities in Ontario are extending online and in-person voting times after problems with their online voting systems. The glitch affected several municipalities that use the Dominion Voting System, which struggled to process the traffic on its website, according to Kingston city officials. “The City of Kingston is one of a number of municipalities that have been affected by online voting issues. Internet voting became inaccessible at approximately 5:45 p.m. this evening,” read a public notice from the City of Kingston, which added that in-person voting times would be extended by an hour and 15 minutes to 9:15 p.m.

Full Article: Voting times extended in several Ontario municipalities due to online voting glitches | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: Liberals strike deal with Conservatives to raise pre-election spending limits | The Globe and Mail

The federal Liberal government will raise the maximum amounts political parties can spend in the run-up to an election after striking a deal with the Opposition Conservatives to allow the government’s election bill to move ahead. The bill’s proposed spending limits during what will be called the “pre-election” period were a major concern of the Conservatives, who generally lead the way when it comes to fundraising and would be in a position to outspend their competitors in the weeks before an election campaign. The Conservatives had attacked the pre-election spending limit as a blatant attempt by the Liberals to tilt the electoral rules in their favour, by limiting the ability of opposition parties to advertise during a period when the governing party continues to have access to government-funded travel and other avenues for self-promotion.

Full Article: Liberals strike deal with Conservatives to raise pre-election spending limits - The Globe and Mail.

Canada: Trudeau government beefs up legislation to fight federal election interference | Associated Press

The Trudeau government is beefing up legislation aimed at making it easier for Canadians to vote and harder for foreign entities to interfere in federal elections. It has sponsored a number of amendments to Bill C-76, including one that would ban advocacy groups from ever using money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns. When the bill was introduced last spring, the government proposed only to prohibit the use of foreign money by so-called third parties during the weeks immediately prior to an election being called and during the actual campaign, known as the pre-writ and writ periods.

Full Article: Trudeau government beefs up legislation to fight federal election interference - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: New cybersecurity centre to look at election interference threats | Associated Press

A fresh look at Canada’s ability to defend against possible online threats to the next national election will be one of a new federal cybersecurity centre’s first tasks. An updated version of a groundbreaking report on lurking dangers to electoral integrity will be issued in the new year, said Scott Jones, head of the fledgling Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. The new federal body aims to be a clearinghouse of information, advice and guidance on threats for the public, Canadian businesses, and owners and operators of critical infrastructure, such as power grids and banking systems. “We want to be that trusted source of information for Canadians,” Jones said in an interview.

Full Article: New Canadian cybersecurity centre to look at election interference threats - National | Globalnews.ca.

Canada: Elections Canada preps for spring vote as MPs set deadline for new law | iPolitics

Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer has revealed that the federal elections agency intends to be ready for an election by next April, five months before the fixed election date for 2019. Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault outlined the timetable as he informed a Commons committee this week that a sweeping bill to overhaul the Canada Elections Act and upgrade cybersecurity would have to clear Parliament by December to give his office time to prepare. “For the next election, given the environment, I very much look forward to having this legislation passed,” Perrault told the Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which began reviewing Bill C-76 last May.

Full Article: Elections Canada preps for spring vote as MPs set deadline for new law - iPolitics.