Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]


Foreign countries will try to twist Canadian opinion online in 2019, feds warn



If you like this, share it!

  • OTTAWA — Foreign countries are very likely to try to advance their agendas in 2019 — a general election year — by manipulating Canadian opinion with malicious online activity, says the federal centre that monitors brewing cyberthreats.

    In a report Thursday, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security warns that state-sponsored players can conduct sophisticated influence operations by posing as regular people.

    Online operatives create social media accounts or hijack existing profiles, and even set up “troll farms” of employees paid to comment on traditional media websites, social media and anywhere else they can reach their target audience, the centre says.

    “Cyber threat actors also try to steal and release information, modify or make information more compelling and distracting, create fraudulent or distorted ‘news,’ and promote extreme opinions.”

    The new centre, a wing of the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s electronic spy agency, brings together experts from the CSE, Public Safety and Shared Services.

    The CSE warned in a study for the Liberal government last year that cyberthreat activity against the democratic process is increasing around the world, and Canada is not immune. An updated version will be issued next spring, just months before Canadians go to the polls.

    Considerable evidence has pointed to online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    In September of last year, Facebook said hundreds of dubious accounts, likely operated out of Russia, spent about $100,000 on some 3,000 ads about contentious issues such as LGBT rights, race, immigration and guns from June 2015 to May 2017. Millions of people in the United States saw the ads.

    In addition, the U.S. Justice Department has announced indictments against Russian intelligence agents for allegedly hacking Democratic party emails and computers during the 2016 campaign.

    In its report, the centre lays out the cyberthreats to Canadian businesses, critical infrastructure and public institutions gleaned through CSE data, general expertise and an assessment of the overall landscape.

    “The intention is not to scare Canadians away from using technology,” centre head Scott Jones told a news conference. “The assessment is meant to inform Canadians of the threats they face, and will be used as a basis for simple things we can each do to make ourselves more secure.”

    That can simply mean keeping anti-virus software updated, being cautious before clicking on links or checking the source of information to ensure it is credible.

    “I’m not saying delete your accounts and move back to sending postcards,” Jones said. “I’m saying, just consume it with a critical eye and look for a more trusted source.” 

    Asked about concerns China might retaliate online against Canada over the recent arrest of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer in Vancouver, Jones did not answer directly.

    “We always have to be resilient no matter what the possible trigger could be,” he said. “So we increase our resilience against any form of malicious cyberactivity we could be facing as a nation.”

    It is highly unlikely, in the absence of international hostilities, state-sponsored cyberattackers would intentionally go after Canadian critical infrastructure such as power grids or water systems, the report says.

    However, the more such providers of vital services connect devices to the Internet, the more susceptible they become to less-sophisticated players such as cybercriminals, it adds.

    The biggest online threat Canadians face is cybercrime including theft, fraud and extortion, the report stresses.

    “Cybercriminals tend to be opportunistic when looking for targets, exploiting both technical vulnerabilities and human error.”

    — Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

    Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!


    New psychiatric assessment ordered for alleged Fredericton shooter



    If you like this, share it!

  • FREDERICTON — A Fredericton man accused of murdering four people in an August shooting spree has been ordered to undergo a 60-day psychiatric assessment.

    It will determine if Matthew Raymond can be found criminally responsible for the crimes he has been accused of.

    He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello, and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright.

    Raymond was previously found fit to stand trial after a shorter assessment. Details of the arguments seeking the assessments are under a publication ban

    Defence lawyer Alison Menard said Tuesday the longer assessment is to assess the mental state of an accused at the time of an alleged offence.

    “Did they suffer from a mental disorder which would exempt them from responsibility?” she said outside court.

    “In certain circumstances, people who suffer from a mental disorder can be found not criminally responsible because they are lacking the intent element of the offence because of the mental disorder.”

    The case returns to court on Feb. 8, 2019.

    Raymond is alleged to have fired from his apartment window with a long gun, killing the two civilians as they loaded a car for a trip on Aug. 10, and the two police officers as they responded to the scene.

    Raymond has previously told a judge there is evidence that would allow him to be “exonerated” immediately because of temporary insanity.

    As he has in previous court appearances, Raymond stood in court Tuesday, and complained to the judge about the jail-issued orange jumpsuit and orange sweatshirt he was wearing.

    “I should be in casual clothes. I’m not supposed to be in orange at all,” he said.

    Raymond was also upset over documents he took from a file folder and waved in the air.

    “It concerns these documents I should not have in my possession. There are photographs and evidence. Only the court should have these documents,” he said.

    The documents concerning the investigation are under a publication ban, but Raymond said guards where he’s being held are able to see them.

    He said a guard came into his cell in the middle of the night and was looking at the documents.

    “There’s no (expletive) way someone should be in my (expletive) cell in the middle of the night looking at my (expletive),” he said.

    Former friends and acquaintances of Raymond have offered varying memories of the accused murderer, ranging from a boy who retreated into video games, a pleasant supermarket co-worker and an increasingly isolated loner in recent years.

    Some business owners have described Raymond, who is in his late 40s, as becoming reclusive and occasionally unpleasant in the year before the alleged shootings.

    Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading


    Longtime NDP MP Robinson considers new run in Burnaby riding



    If you like this, share it!

  • OTTAWA — Former New Democrat stalwart Svend Robinson says he’s strongly considering a return to federal politics.

    Robinson says that these are challenging times for the party and if he decides to run in Burnaby North—Seymour, he hopes it helps the candidate in the next riding over — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

    Robinson, 66, represented the Vancouver-area riding of Burnaby for 25 years and until 2004, when he admitted he stole a diamond ring from an auction, said he was under too much strain, and left politics.

    Since then he’s spent his time in Switzerland working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and after retiring last year, Robinson and his partner moved to Cyprus.

    Despite insisting that he hasn’t definitely made up his mind, Robinson says over the phone from Cyprus that he spent a month door-knocking in the riding this fall and sent a letter to residents saying that he is seriously considering a run.

    He says a number of experienced members of the NDP caucus are not standing for re-election and that’s where he could make a contribution.

    The Canadian Press

    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    december, 2018

    wed21nov - 21decAll DayAlberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum - Deck the Hall 31 Days of Giving-31 Days of giving(All Day) Event Organized By: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

    sat15dec10:00 am- 4:00 pmParkland Garden Centre Craft and Market Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    sat15dec12:00 pm- 6:00 pmArtisan Market Sale for Nuit Blanche Winter CarnivalArtisan Market12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    sat22dec10:00 am- 4:00 pmParkland Garden Centre Craft and Market Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    mon31dec - 1jandec 317:00 pmjan 1- 2:00 amBlack & White ballRed Deer\'s Party of the Year!7:00 pm - (january 1) 2:00 am

    mon31dec - 1jandec 317:00 pmjan 1- 1:00 amOne Eleven Grill New Year's Eve with Claude Godin and his Groove EnsembleCall 403.347-2111 to reserve for New Year7:00 pm - (january 1) 1:00 am