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Democracies must unite to share intel in disinformation fight, LeBlanc says

WASHINGTON — The federal minister in charge of Canada’s electoral integrity says democracies around the world have a lot to teach each other about how best to combat online disinformation.

New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc, president of the Privy Council, was part of a panel discussion about disinformation, fake news and social media hosted by the Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics at George Washington University.

LeBlanc says Canada is in the process of evaluating the steps it took to protect voters from manipulation in advance of last year’s federal election — an effort focused on educating and informing Canadians about the dangers.

He says Canada has learned valuable lessons he believes would be helpful for the United States in advance of November’s presidential election.

LeBlanc also says the COVID-19 pandemic has already proved fertile ground in Canada and elsewhere for those using false or misleading social media posts to sow discord, stoke anxiety and inflame debate.

Canada is teaming up with tech giant Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a U.S.-based civil society group, on countering election meddling as part of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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