Emergencies law: Social media was key to protests, expert says


Cybersecurity experts say a federal probe should consider social media the central nervous system of the « Freedom Convoy » protest in Ottawa last winter.

The Public Order Emergency Commission is turning its attention to the role of online misinformation as it investigates the federal government’s use of emergency legislation to dispel protesters.

Queen’s University political scientist Dax D’Orazio says social media permeated almost every aspect of the protest, from fundraising and organizing to documenting events and browsing the media traditional as a source of information.

The inquiry is seeking input from experts to support its analysis of whether the government was right to use the Emergencies Act in response to protests that swept through downtown Ottawa and disrupted the trade at several border crossings.

The inquiry is on a tight deadline to complete its work, with Commissioner Paul Rouleau expected to submit his final recommendations to Parliament in early February.

Another panel on the movement of essential goods and services, critical infrastructure and trade corridors is scheduled for this afternoon.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 29, 2022.


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