NATO’s expert researchers have come out saying that Canada should be on alert for interference from Russia in next years federal election.
They believed this is likely to happen because it would help the Kremlin achieve their goal of destabilizing the military alliance.
Although many people are familiar with the allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 United States presidential election, it has also come to light that they appeared to interfere with elections in France, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Canada has one specific thing in common with all of these countries which makes it likely that the Russians will try to interfere, they are a part of a group of countries that belong to the NATO Alliance.
The Canadian government came out yesterday and said that they have been “closely monitoring foreign threats of all kinds, and will continue to do so for the coming election” and are going to “make sure that all Canadian citizens can-trust in their democratic rights and institutions”. The government is working on bringing more transparency to how political advertising and political parties are funded, as well as looking deeper into political fundraisers.
The government has also said they are taking a look at “social media and how it could influence the election”. It is being suggested in an indictment issued last week by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller in the united states, that “Russia used automated bots, and trolls”, and also made “fake Facebook groups and produced fake news stories in order to meddle with the presidential election in the United States in 2016”.
These are the same exact tactics that appear to have been used in France, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Because of the issues that all these countries have faced, the Canadian government is working on addressing issues with social media companies and working on setting higher standards and making sure they are looking into payments they get from foreign entities who are showing an interest in another country’s election.
This news comes during a time when relations between Russia and Canada are at an all time low. After Canadian Forces were found out to be the ones commanding a battle group (under NATO) in the anti-Moscow terrain in Latvia, the Kremlin had Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland put on a list of people, who are not allowed to enter Russia, claiming it was “because she wrote negatively about Putin many years before when she worked as a journalist”.
Regardless of the reasons, Russia might want to interfere with the Canadian election of 2019, they are the first country who has been one step ahead of the game, which means they might be the first to successfully block any potential interference from Russia.