Canada has taken extensive steps in the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to fight foreign meddling and will find out soon if its efforts will pay off when the country's next national campaign kicks off.
"The way the Canadians have responded to the problem of technology and democracy is much more impressive than what we've seen in Washington," Ben Scott, a former Hillary Clinton official who is now based in Toronto and tracks disinformation campaigns, told Politico. "Pound for pound, Canada is way ahead of the U.S. in terms of policy development on these issues."
Canada's plan centers on its Critical Election Incident Public Protocol, which outlines steps aimed at notifying political parties and the public about foreign interference.
The project includes a five-person team of non-partisan bureaucrats and is responsible for sounding the alarm on meddling, including foreign cyberattacks on political groups and online disinformation campaigns.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration last year passed transparency rules for online political ads and ordered intelligence services to disclose foreign threats publicly. The country has also housed a G-7 project that shared intelligence between allies about foreign disinformation and has created a non-partisan group that warns the public and political parties about interference.
Trudeau is in a tight race with Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer for the prime minister spot, which is determined by whichever party wins the most seats in Canada's 338-member Parliament race in the Oct. 21 election.
Officials, however, are skeptical that the country can keep out foreign interference. Trudeau's critics say his government is focused on Russia, while Canadian groups with U.S. funding backed his own 2015 campaign.
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