Federal government considering new laws to combat COVID-19 misinformation

If the government were to implement new measures it would take some time for legislation to be drafted

The federal government is open to implementing new laws to punish people who are knowingly spreading misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc told the CBC that he has discussed the matter with other cabinet ministers, including Justice Minister David Lametti.

“Legislatures and Parliaments are meeting scarcely because of the current context of the pandemic, so it’s not a quick solution, but it’s certainly something that we would be open [to] as a government,” LeBlanc told the CBC.

It’s important to note that if the government does plan to implement such measures, it would likely take some time to draft legislation.

The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) states that opportunistic cyber threats actors are trying to take advantage of Canadians’ concerns and fears around COVID-19. The CSE says that attackers are attempting to spread misinformation and scam Canadians in hopes of obtaining private data or money.

Fraudsters are able to lure victims to visit fake websites, open malicious emails or click on links in text messages as they impersonate government organizations.

With rampant misinformation being spread through fraudsters’ malicious activities and trolls on social media, legislation could help slowdown the spread of misinformation amid the COVID-19, especially since we don’t know how long we’ll be in this situation.

You can read the CBC’s full report here.

Source: CBC News