#CyberFLASH: Trudeau must defend cyberspace: PM’s advisers

CPT101318547_ContentOTTAWA — Defending and advancing a free, open and secure cyberspace is essential to Canada’s prosperity as well as its commitment to human rights and democracy, advisers have told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The next several years will bring steady progress in the development of international frameworks for the digital realm, including Internet norms, agreements and governance arrangements, says a briefing note presented to Trudeau when he took office in November.

Repressive regimes want to harness communication networks to silence criticism, control information and limit access — threatening to undermine the open and connected nature of the Internet, warns the note obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

“There is a window in which Canada, drawing on its diplomatic strengths, could help preserve the openness, resiliency and security of cyberspace on which Canadians and people across the globe have come to rely.”

The note stresses the role of the Internet — with three billion users, and another billion expected by 2017 — in driving economic growth and creating opportunities for social and democratic progress.

Canada is working closely with its Five Eyes partners — Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand — as well as Sweden, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the European Union and Mexico to sway emerging powers and other developing countries that have yet to take a firm stance on cyberspace issues, the note says.

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