The Expert Panel on Public Safety in the Digital Age
The proliferation of ever-changing digital technologies has led to substantial cyber-enabled harms for those in Canada, even for those who are largely offline. Approaches by different orders of government, law enforcement, and the private sector have been insufficient to address the challenges presented by this changing digital landscape while ensuring privacy and human rights are respected.
Digital technologies provide spaces for all kinds of social interactions — good and bad. Despite the efforts of public and private entities, communities, and law enforcement, it is often unclear where one can turn when such interactions become harmful. Further, not all cyber-enabled harms can or should be addressed through state-sanctioned rules. Fostering a safer online ecosystem is a collective endeavour which includes civil societies, policy-makers, law enforcement agencies, and the private sector.
Vulnerable Connections explores the challenges and opportunities related to the regulation, prevention, investigation, prosecution, and countering of cyber-enabled crimes and harms. It details the complex social and legal issues underpinning digital public safety and the importance of accountable approaches to addressing cyber-enabled crimes and harms.
Public Safety Canada
Considering the impact that advances in information and communications technologies have had on a global scale, what do current evidence and knowledge suggest regarding promising and leading practices that could be applied in Canada for investigating, preventing, and countering threats to public safety while respecting human rights and privacy?
Digital technologies and platforms have drastically altered day-to-day life in Canada, bringing considerable benefits along with the risk of substantial harm. Everyone’s experiences are shaped in some way by digital technologies, whether they are online or not. Digital technologies permeate all institutions and, as a result, everyone in Canada is increasingly exposed to a wide range of potential online threats to their public safety. Some of the threats facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs) are not new, but they are now occurring in digital spaces and on a larger scale, while other harms are emerging and rapidly evolving. In this context, the role of law enforcement, governments, and the private sector in protecting digital public safety is in flux, and it is unclear where, how, and from whom people can seek help when targeted by malicious actors.