Foreign interference poses one of the greatest threats to elections in democratic societies around the globe. Foreign interference activities from state and non-state actors target democratic processes in pursuit of their strategic objectives (i.e., political, economic, and geopolitical). Democracies have struggled to respond to such challenges. China and Russia, for example, has been noticeably elevating and expanding interference and influence operations aimed at politicians, businesspeople, academia, the media, and diasporic communities. In addition, non-state actors, most notably from the far-right, have been mobilizing and conducting transnational information operations, eroding trust in democratic institutions, and sponsoring hateful narratives targeting minorities across Western democracies. In the age of digital media and AI assisted communication, foreign interference, disinformation, and attacks on democratic institutions are likely to become ever more sophisticated.
In March 2024, the Canadian Network on Information & Security (CANIS) is hosting an international conference to explore the challenges of foreign international interference in elections. This transdisciplinary conference will bring together researchers, government officials, and practitioners from an array of social science, public policy, engineering, and legal fields to promote collaboration and exchange ideas. The conference will also feature emerging trends in industry, as well as best practices in the information environment from domestic and international actors, and how they could apply to the Canadian context.
This conference will focus on:
- Foreign interference and meddling in electoral processes highlighting regional perspectives from North America (US and Canada), the European Union, and the Indo-Pacific regions.
- State-sponsored activities against democratic processes worldwide, including the roles of Russia, China, and Iran.
- Challenges of foreign interference in elections from non-state actors.
- Identification of best practices to ensure public transparency and maintaining trust in our democratic and electoral systems.
To learn more and register please contact CANIS Coordinator Tatiana Oshchepkova at firstname.lastname@example.org
A week-long course is an advanced introduction to security and mis/dis-information in the Canadian and global contexts. Students will study different threats and entities affecting our information environment from political, technological, cognitive/behavioural, and legal/ethical perspectives and will be guided to produce novel insights to support, expand, and improve security in Canada. The course includes a wargame, a simulation-based scenario, which complements lectures and offers a practical exercise on how to counter mis/dis-information.
Day 1: National Security and Defence in an Information-Rich Environment, Communication and Propaganda
Day 2: Influence Operations (Russia and China)
Day 3: Getting the Message—Basics of AI and Network Analysis
Day 4: The Canadian (Mis/Dis) Information Space: Canadian Communications and Survey Findings
Day 5: Legal, Ethical and Policy Landscapes
The 2023 international conference is bringing together researchers and practitioners from an array of social sciences, public policy, engineering, and legal fields to discuss emerging trends and best practices in the information environment in application to the Canadian context.
CANIS 2023 conference themes include:
• Cultural dynamics of misinformation
• How misinformation is perceived based on demographics
• Multi-lingual analysis/perspectives on misinformation
• Rules of trust in social institutions
• Challenges regulating misinformation
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Location: The Ranchmen’s Club, Calgary
An interdisciplinary event to support emerging scholars and promote future collaborations with the academic community, CANIS members, and practitioners from social science, public policy, engineering, and legal fields.