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Monday, 11 June 2018

Were the Ontario Election spam messages actually compliant with the law?

Did Ontario just get a dose of high tech election interference?

After the US election that saw Donald Trump elected last year and just before that we had Brexit. People were left wondering how could this happen and then came the Cambridge Analytica scandal with Facebook. Well,  there was an election in Ontario last week and I saw many complaints from people about spam calls and SMS messengers from the conservative party.

It turns out these were not sent from the conservative party but a right-wing political organization called Ontario Proud.

Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, an organization must gain consent to send any commercial electronic message to a person’s electronic address. Ontario Proud founder Jeff Ballingall said the group is not breaking any laws because it is not selling anything.

There was some confusion about how Ontario Proud gained access to the personal telephone numbers. The right-wing organization is also known to threaten legal action against critics. Ontario Proud have said they made use of the Canadian Numbering Plan, the system overseen by the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA), an agency under CRTC oversight that assigns phone numbers to carriers.

There are strict laws against political parties engaging in these sorts of activities. It seems there are more than one way to get around this. Ontario Proud is a fine example of these and just how far can this go?

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the CRTC did not respond to requests for comment.
It wasn't the 407 either








Who is behind Ontario Proud?


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