Safeguarding our elections and democratic institutions
The Government of Canada’s top priority is protecting Canada, and that includes protecting our democratic institutions.
CSE threats assessments
In June 2017, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) released an assessment of cyber threats to Canada’s democratic process. This was the first threat assessment of its kind that was shared with the public, and which helped guide the development of a plan to protect Canada’s democracy.
In April 2019, ahead of the 2019 election, CSE released an updated assessment of the cyber threats to Canada’s democratic processes.
- 2019 CSE Update: Cyber Threats to Canada's Democratic Process
- News release: 2019 Update on Cyber Threats to Canada's Democratic Process
The plan to protect Canada’s democracy
Here, you will find Canada’s plan for defending Canadian democracy during the 2019 election. This included measures to strengthen our electoral system against cyber and other threats. This plan was announce in January 2019 by the Minister of Democratic Institutions, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Minister of National Defence.
- News release: Government of Canada unveils plan to safeguard Canada’s 2019 election
- Speech: The Government of Canada’s Plan to Safeguard Canada’s 2019 Election
There are four key pillars to the plan:
- Enhancing citizen preparedness
- Foreign and malicious actors are always becoming more creative at using online platforms to manipulate opinions. By becoming better informed about the tactics they use online, Canadians can be the best line of defense in our efforts to fight foreign interference in our democratic processes.
- Improving organizational readiness
- We are improving coordination amongst government departments and agencies to identify threats, emerging tactics, and systems vulnerabilities to strengthen security practices and behaviours. We have also worked with political parties to improve their cyber security practices.
- Combatting foreign interference
- Canada’s security agencies worked to prevent covert, clandestine, or criminal activities by foreign actors from interfering in the 2019 election.
- Expecting social media platforms to act
- Disinformation online can create confusion and exploit existing social tensions. Leading up to the 2019 election, we supported social media platforms in increasing the transparency, authenticity and integrity of their systems to help safeguard our election.
You can continue to rely on Canada’s strong electoral process, including:
Resources to help you to protect yourself from cyber threats:
- CyberHygiene – Best practices to stay cyber secure.
- Top 10 IT security actions – Prioritized actions to help prevent cyber intrusions and protect sensitive information.
- Mobile security – CSE's advice and guidance on mobile security.
- ITS Advice and Guidance – Publications and tools to help defend and protect against cyber threats.
- G7 Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM)
- Cabinet Directive on the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol
- Increased capacity to assist Canadian political parties and elections administrators
- Video Series: Think twice before sharing online content
- Increased reach and focus of GetCyberSafe cyber security public awareness efforts
- Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online
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