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EXCLUSIVE: Privy Council sought to hire social media snoop to monitor Canadians' COVID opinions

At the time the internal discussions were taking place, only traditional forms of media were being monitored by PCO staff.

EXCLUSIVE: Privy Council sought to hire social media snoop to monitor Canadians' COVID opinions
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Bureaucrats sought an outside contractor to hunt down “misinformation” and “disinformation” on social media platforms and “popular blogs” including Reddit.

The department that works in a support capacity on behalf of the prime minister wanted to “procure a social media monitoring service contract, as a pilot project, to support COVID-19 response efforts and communications. The objective is to gain further insight into the Canadian public's response to, and understanding of, Government of Canada programs, policies and measures that are currently in place.”

The internal briefing note from Justin Trudeau's staff advocating for the procurement of an internet hall monitor was obtained by Rebel News through an access to information filing.

The documents make it clear that at the time the internal discussions were taking place, only traditional forms of media were being monitored by Privy Council Office staff who explained “Without social media monitoring, we are missing an important tool to assess the efficiency of our communications.”

“This capacity does not currently exist within PCO, and would complement news media monitoring and public opinion research. This timely feedback on COVID-19 could support communications planning, surface issues (including misinformation or disinformation) or gaps, and improve responsiveness.”

PCO bureaucrats noted in the communications that the Canadian public would take umbrage with the Orwellian big brother style oversight of their online expressions:

There is a risk of negative media coverage related to PCO procuring a social media monitoring service. There is a perception that such services are there to collect information about Canadians.

The Liberals have recently introduced Bill C-11, formally known as the Online Streaming Act, a law that seeks to regulate and police online content as well as shoe-horn Canadian content and diversity onto streaming services.

READ THE DOCUMENTS HERE:

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