Protecting democracy

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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. 

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. 

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:

Other resources

Infographics


Critical Election Incident Public Protocol

Steps describing the actions to be taken by the Government of Canada if there are interference attempts in a federal election.


Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force

The partner roles and activities of federal government organizations in federal elections.


Think critically about what you see online

Questions you should ask yourself before trusting or sharing information.

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