Election Cybersecurity and the Role of Political Parties

Political parties are an essential part of electoral democracy. They have also been identified by the intelligence community and academic researchers as a weak point in the cybersecurity of many democracies. The hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails is one prominent example of how ineffective cybersecurity by a political party can have far-reaching implications. The Communications Security Establishment of Canada recently issued a report that identified political parties as vulnerable. This article considers how to incentivize Canadian political parties, within the legal framework of the Canada Elections Act, to respond effectively to cybersecurity threats.

The slides of the presentation are also available here.

About the speaker

Michael Pal is an Associate Professor and Director of the Public Law Group at the Faculty of Common Law at the University of Ottawa. He is one of Canada’s leading experts on election law and constitutional law. He is presently researching election cybersecurity and how election law can respond to the rise of social media.