Government of Canada leading globally to promote cybersecurity and counter disinformation online
Ottawa, May 26, 2020 – Canadians need to feel they can trust and rely on the internet of today and tomorrow. The surge of disinformation and cyber threats emerging in the context of COVID-19 highlight the need to strengthen our capacity to prevent the spread of disinformation by foreign actors and malicious cyber activities.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, announced that the Government of Canada has stepped up to be one of the three leaders on Countering Election Interference, as part of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.
As a co-lead for Principle 3, along with Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the Government of Canada will take part in leading activities on election interference and building international capacity in this area over the coming months. Participants in the Paris Call have committed to working together to adopt best practices on countering disinformation online and cybersecurity threats and implementing its principles online.
The Paris Call is an international declaration created in November 2018, which calls for states, the private sector, and civil society to work together to promote security in cyberspace. It is the largest-ever multi-stakeholder cybersecurity agreement and is supported by over 550 entities internationally, including over 95 governments.
“Canada’s leadership in the Paris Call will help build global expertise and understanding about the best way to combat online disinformation and malicious cyber activities in the context of election interference. We look forward to working with Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy on this important and timely initiative, and to helping strengthen the cybersecurity of Canadians as well as nations across the world.”
‑ Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
“Election security is one of the most important issues of our time. Canada leading this pillar of the Paris Call will help build trust in elections not only for Canadians, but people living in democracies around the world.”
- Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
“By weaponizing democracies’ strengths against them, foreign actors use asymmetric tools like cyberattacks to interfere in elections and undermine democracies while advancing their model of control and manipulation. Addressing this challenge requires a whole of society approach, with new modes of cooperation among governments, the private sector, and civil society – an approach embodied by this Paris Call community. The Government of Canada is a standard bearer for best practices in defending against foreign efforts to undermine democracy and we are pleased to welcome them as co-champion of this effort to safeguard elections and strengthen democratic institutions around the world.”
- Laura Rosenberger, Director, Alliance for Securing Democracy
The Paris Call was established by Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, during the Internet Governance Forum held at UNESCO and the Paris Peace Forum in November 2018.
The goal of the Paris Call is to address new cyberspace threats that could endanger citizens and infrastructure through international cooperation and collaboration.
As one of the Paris Call’s nine fundamental principles, Principle 3 (Defend Electoral Processes) aims to “strengthen our capacity to prevent malign interference by foreign actors aimed at undermining electoral processes through malicious cyber activities”.
Other governments participating in the Paris Call include the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Norway, Chile, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Canada’s leadership in the Paris Call builds on our G7 Charlevoix commitment, to collaborate in identifying and responding to malign interference by foreign actors aimed at undermining democratic processes and national interests, and on our leadership of the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism.
For more information (media only), please contact:
- Corinne Havard
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
- Media Relations
Privy Council Office
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