National Newswatch

Chinese social media giant flouting Canadian election law

Oct 14 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — Chinese social media giant WeChat is flouting Canada’s new elections rules, allowing election ads to run without setting up a digital ad registry as required by law, CBC News has learned. The platform’s owner, Tencent, says election ads aren’t running on its popular WeChat social media site and it has not set up an ad […]

Foreign interference in elections hard to investigate, prosecute: Côté

Sep 18 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — The biggest danger to Canada’s federal election is the prospect of foreign interference, but investigating it is hard and laying charges is tough, says the man who must police the election. Speaking in an exclusive interview with CBC News, Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Côté said he has not yet seen attempts to interfere. However, […]

Ortis case linked to Vancouver firm that supplied secure cellphones to international criminals

Sep 17 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — The investigation into top RCMP civilian official Cameron Ortis began with a shadowy, multimillion-dollar Vancouver-based company run by Canadians that sold encrypted cellphones to drug traffickers and money launderers around the world. The key figures behind Phantom Secure Communications even used modified versions of Canada’s iconic Blackberry devices to help their international criminal clientele evade […]

House of Commons cuts links to MPs websites

Sep 13 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — The House of Commons has cut its links to the websites of all 334 outgoing members of Parliament after it discovered the sites of some MPs were being used to campaign for re-election. Heather Bradley, spokesman for the House of Commons, said Clerk Charles Robert sent a memo a note to all MPs late Thursday, […]

House of Commons to review MPs websites

Sep 12 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — The House of Commons will review all MP websites after an investigation by CBC News revealed that dozens of them have trackers that can be used to target advertising to people who have visited the sites. Heather Bradley, spokeswoman for the House of Commons, said there are no rules specifically about trackers, but MPs cannot […]

Twitter banning political ads in Canada until election campaign

Jun 26 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — Online giant Twitter has decided to ban political ads in Canada in the lead-up to the federal election this fall. Faced with new election rules that kick in this weekend, Twitter says it won’t allow ads for parties and candidates until campaigning for the Oct. 21 vote begins. “Twitter will be prohibiting partisan and political […]

Poll finds 90% of Canadians have fallen for fake news

Jun 11 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — Ninety per cent of Canadians say they have fallen for fake news online, with many listing Facebook as the most common source of misleading reports, according to a new international public opinion poll. The poll of 25,229 internet users, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for Canada’s Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), found that only […]

Facebook has known since 2018 it was being used to incite hate

Jun 6 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — Facebook knew as early as 2018 that its platform was being used to incite division and violence, a company official told Canadian MPs on Thursday. Testifying at justice committee hearings into online hate, Kevin Chan, head of public policy for Facebook Canada, said the company realized long before this year’s deadly attack in Sri Lanka […]

YouTube moves to ban neo-Nazi, Holocaust-denying videos

Jun 5 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — YouTube says it is cracking down on hate speech on its platform, banning videos that promote neo-Nazi ideology or claim that events like the Holocaust never took place. But while the company will begin enforcing its new policy today, it admits that it could take months before all of the content is removed.

Google defends efforts to prevent hate speech, extremism online

Jun 4 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — Google says it is working hard to eliminate hate speech from platforms like YouTube, using machine learning to catch problematic online content — sometimes before they’ve been seen by anybody. Testifying today before justice committee hearings on the spread of online hate speech, Colin McKay, head of government affairs and public policy for Google Canada, […]

New tools, stiffer penalties needed to police big tech companies, says competition watchdog

May 31 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — The federal government should boost the penalties for anti-competitive behaviour to more effectively regulate tech giants and the digital economy, says Canada’s competition watchdog. “The maximum penalties for anti-competitive behaviour are, quite simply, not high enough in Canada, meaning we lack the teeth necessary to deter anti-competitive behaviour and promote compliance,” Commissioner of Competition Matthew […]

Facebook says it will blow whistle on attempts to interfere in election

May 27 2019 — Elizabeth Thompson — Facebook says it will take down accounts that try to interfere with the upcoming federal election and make those attempts public, regardless of whether the federal government decides to advise Canadians of any efforts to interfere. In an interview with CBC News, Kevin Chan, head of public policy for Facebook Canada, said the tech giant […]