Electoral Matters Committee to hear about the threat of foreign interference and misinformation

Issue date: Tuesday, 25 February 2020

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Australians’ capacity to determine credible information from fake content propagated by foreign actors on the internet will be discussed at a public hearing tomorrow.

Experts from the University of Canberra will share their findings with the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters as part of the inquiry into the 2019 Federal election.

The News & Media Research Centre submitted to the Committee that compared to sophisticated weapons systems, the requirements for influence campaigns are minimal.

‘Unlike the technical hurdles involved in missile defence or nuclear weapons, influence operations can be carried out using a computer screen and an internet connection…’ the submission said.

Committee Chair Senator James McGrath says foreign interference and misinformation must be combated to protect our democratic institutions.

‘The way we access information is changing. Australians are increasingly turning to digital technology, away from traditional forms of media. Information is more accessible than ever before – and the ways disinformation can be spread is evolving all the time. So the Committee looks forward to hearing how we can better protect our democratic institutions from manipulation as we move further into the digital age,’ Senator McGrath said.

Public hearing

Date: Wednesday 26 February
Time: 9.50am – 10.40am
Location: Committee Room 1R2, Parliament House, Canberra

The hearing will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live.

Media inquiries

Ms Brooke Hargraves | Office of Senator the Hon James McGrath
0458 689 043 or (07) 5441 1800

For background information

Committee Secretariat | 02 6277 2374 | em@aph.gov.au

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