Beware of bribes and blackmail during elections, CSIS warns


An unclassified report by Canada’s major National Security Agency warns that foreign state officials will use bribes, blackmail, and intimidation to influence politics. This is a tactic that a Canadian policy expert can personally prove.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) recently released a 17-page report entitled “Foreign Interference: A Threat to Canada’s Democratic Process.” Their taste.

“Although Canada’s electoral system is strong, foreign intervention is a serious threat to democratic, political, fundamental rights and freedoms, and ultimately the integrity of sovereignty,” the report said. ..

“Examples include attempts to secretly affect, threaten, manipulate, interfere, corrupt and damage individuals, organizations and governments in order to promote foreign interests. “

Marcus Kolga, Senior Fellow of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and Head of the Disinfo Watch Program, appreciates this report.

“The content itself was not a surprise. What surprised me was the clarity and honesty of the report. The fact that the threat was defined as persistent and widespread, CSIS has increased foreign interference. And the fact that I saw the intensity. I think it’s really important for the Canadians to understand, and more importantly, for the Government of Canada, “Corga said in an interview.

“I don’t think the federal government has fully acknowledged the scope of the threat because it hasn’t put in place policies to address the threat.”

‘LYears of research

Both Corga and Canada’s Communications Security Agency list China, Russia and Iran as key concerns. Although the CSIS report avoids naming the state, authorities have conducted a long-standing investigation into specific threat actors believed to be targeting Canada and Canadians through secret, deceptive or threatening means. I am. “

Corga wants the attention of elected and appointed officials and daily Canadians.

“We’re a little naive. We don’t think we’re fully aware of the types of damage these administrations are currently doing to our democracy,” he said.

“Most of our elected officials have no idea. And if they have no idea, if they are unaware of the threat, they will be a big big target for their administration. . “

Corga said 33 senators voted against a motion that would have admitted the massacre of Communist China against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims as a massacre in “China’s Influential Operations.” thinking.

“There were 33 senators who voted against it, and some of the statements made by a particular small group of senators who opposed the motion … are a direct reflection. [rhetoric and narratives] It was promoted by the Chinese media and the Communist Party, “he said.

Foreign states want to target and influence the Canadian ethnic community, according to CSIS reports.

“State officials can use threats, bribes, and blackmail to influence the voting behavior of individuals inside and outside the community,” the report said.

“Individuals may be threatened or threatened with retaliation for themselves or their loved ones in Canada or abroad if they do not comply with publicly supporting certain candidates or funding foreign priority political parties. They can also use flattery, promise compensation, or appeal to a sense of personal pride in another country to elicit desirable behavior. “

Intimidation, harassment

In recent years, Uighur activists and other Chinese human rights activists have told the Commons House Subcommittee on International Human Rights that threatening campaigns against them in Canada include even the threat of rape and death.

Last year’s report by the Canadian Union and Amnesty International Canada on China’s human rights stated: Linked to or supported by Chinese state authorities. The report states: “New trends show an increasing prevalence of such incidents and interference in universities and academia.

State officials can also manipulate the journalism and social media environment through similar tactics. Corga, a journalist, filmmaker and human rights activist, said his writing and advocacy against the Kremlin’s story made him the subject of such tactics.

“I used to send me threats and receive nasty emails and nasty Facebook messages,” he said. “I’m used to it. Whenever I write something, these guys come to me.”

May 2020, York Regional Police He followed the Russian people who threatened Corga a year ago. Corga refused the accusation, but police warned the Russians that further action would lead to prosecution.

“this [was] When I was threatened with murder for the third time, it was a very reliable threat of murder. It’s worn out and psychologically difficult. And I obviously have to tell my family, and it causes stress everywhere, “he said.

Corga said he has built resilience against such threats over the years, but is worried about friends in the Chinese dissident community, saying it is “a pretty serious problem.” Said.