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Modern Law: Fighting disinformation by legal means

We speak with Ève Gaumond about where disinformation comes from, when we can legislate against it, and why we need more transparency around our political ads.

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At CBA National, we're launching a new CBA podcast series called Modern Law. Over the coming months, I'll have guests on to talk about the law's ability to keep pace with change.


It's a truism that the law tends to lag – advances in technology, the market and society. That isn't always a bad thing. Reactive lawmaking doesn't always make for good law, whereas legal frameworks born from slow and deliberate reflection arguably have a better chance of standing the test of time. Regardless, the model for change in our legal system is incremental at best, and there is a growing sense in the current climate that it is structurally ill-equipped to address the pressing challenges of our present. 


To kick off the series, my first guest is Ève Gaumond who joined me to discuss how the law can be a solution (or not) to disinformation – a timely talk as we just witnessed an election that involved vast amounts of campaign money spent on Facebook ads, charges of manipulating media on Twitter and ongoing concerns that false narratives could sway voters about covid-19 and vaccination campaigns.  Gaumond is an affiliate to Quebec's Observatory on the Societal Impact of AI and Digital Technologies, currently finishing a master's degree at Laval University, focusing on the risks and benefits of using AI to enhance the intelligibility of judicial information. She is also studying for the Quebec bar. She has published work on data privacy, online speech, AI regulation, privacy in the digital age, and papers in the field of machine learning. You can read some of her work at Lawfare, where she is a contributor.


You can stream and download our full conversation here.