I call this meeting to order. Welcome to meeting number 20 of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations. Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, September 23, 2020, the committee is meeting on its study of Canada-China relations.
This meeting is in hybrid format, pursuant to the motion adopted by the House on January 25, 2021.
I would now like to welcome the witnesses for our first panel.
From the Public Health Agency of Canada, we have Mr. Iain Stewart, president, as well as Dr. Guillaume Poliquin, acting scientific director general, National Microbiology Laboratory.
Thank you so much for being here tonight. I will now turn the floor over to Mr. Stewart for the opening remarks.
Please proceed. You have five minutes.
Thanks for the invitation to the discuss the Public Health Agency of Canada's relationship with China. A key focus of PHAC’s current relationship is of course in the context of the response to COVID-19.
In the case of COVID-19, the Public Health Agency became aware on December 30 at 10:30 p.m. that something was happening in Wuhan, via GPHIN, the global public health intelligence network that we run. For us, it was a big thing. This detection of an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan was distributed in our daily report the next morning, December 31, and supplementary monitoring started right away.
Okay. Thanks, and thanks for the tip. I'm sorry about that, members.
Mr. Chair, as I was saying, we detected something in Wuhan on December 30 in the late evening. The next day, we sent out through the daily notification that in fact an infection event was occurring in Wuhan. The next day, Dr. Tam notified the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health and we alerted the federal/provincial Public Health Network Communications Group and the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network. For us, it started abruptly at the end of December and the very beginning of January.
With the world in the midst of the unprecedented global event that this resulted in, learning more about the zoonotic source of the virus has become crucial to better understand the situation and to help prevent future pandemics. That's why in May 2020 Canada co-sponsored the World Health Assembly resolution 73.1, which called for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive” review of the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19 and scientific and collaborative field research missions, which laid the groundwork for the joint WHO-China mission on the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In January 2021, a team of WHO-convened international experts travelled to China to work with Chinese counterparts to advance these efforts. Their reports are expected in the coming weeks. Canada has committed to supporting the WHO and its scientific work, and Canadian officials have reiterated the need for China to be open and transparent as part of this process.
Canada and China share a long-standing relationship in health, dating back to an MOU signed in 1995 calling for regular dialogue on health-related issues. The Canada-China policy dialogue on health has been the main vehicle for our formal bilateral engagement, including, at the ministerial level, four dialogues between 2009 and 2014. Since 2014, engagement with China has primarily been in health-related multilateral fora, such as the WHO and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation health working group.
China has a growing capacity for basic and applied research, and there's a mutual benefit from academic exchanges. Reflecting on this, in January 2007, Canada and China signed a science and technology co-operation agreement. The agreement launched a sustained effort to boost collaborative research and development in fields like life sciences to promote collaboration in research and development between Chinese and Canadian academics and both private and public sector researchers and innovators. The initial areas of focus in life sciences included vaccines.
As with all collaborations, care is required to make sure that both parties have a clear understanding of the uses of the information being exchanged and, of course, the intellectual property that underlies the research teams. In our work, we've taken important steps to protect against security threats and intellectual property concerns. The Minister of Health, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Minister of Public Safety jointly issued a policy statement on research security and COVID-19 in September 2020, encouraging members of the research community to take precautions to protect the security of COVID-19-related research, intellectual property and knowledge development.
Challenges persist in any relationship, but there are benefits in exchanging information and research, and there are meaningful opportunities to do so through the relationships that I've just described. The global pandemic underscores the importance of international engagement and coordination, and international coordination will remain important to managing the pandemic going forward.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, for the opportunity to make remarks.
I'd like to thank the witnesses.
Mr. Poliquin, I must admit that I was somewhat surprised by the brevity—to say the least—of your remarks earlier.
Anyway, I would like to follow up on what Mr. Chong was talking about. He talked about this pair of Chinese researchers who went to China a few times, including once in July 2019. In fact, they were kicked out of the lab after going to China with live samples of Ebola and Nipah. Yet it appears from the evidence that everything was done by the book.
Why were they kicked out of the lab, then? Why did they wait several months before firing them outright?
I'm sorry, Mr. Stewart, but you're putting yourself in a position where you could be charged with contempt of Parliament. You're not answering the questions you're being asked. It's a simple question.
You told us a few moments ago that everything had been done properly, but that following an investigation, you had dismissed them and fired them. If everything was done according to the rules, what happened to get them to be dismissed?
Your answer raises many questions, not only for us parliamentarians, but also for the general public. Indeed, we have every reason to believe that a mistake was made and that information was passed on to the Chinese authorities.
There was no official written guidance. When someone says they were told that, you're saying there was no official guidance.
They were also criticized at one point, a few weeks after the outbreak. The public health director was asked why GPHIN's internal reports had missed crucial developments being widely reported in the news around the world, that human-to-human transmission had been detected. The response was, from the analysts, that the information had, in fact, been discussed in earlier reports, before the documents went up the chain, but somehow the information was taken out of that.
Can you tell us about that?
Thank you, Mr. Chair. You may be aware of this already, but you missed some theatrics while you were gone.
Just to let colleagues know—in particular Mr. Genuis—when I raised points of order, they were not to prevent certain questions from being asked. Members have that privilege; they are members of Parliament. My points of order related, as I said, to parliamentary decorum, allowing a witness to finish an answer and not badgering that witness.
It's good to ask hard questions. There's nothing wrong with it. There is, however.... It's not even a fine line. There is a difference between asking a question in a meaningful way and making a mockery of a parliamentary committee, which I'm afraid my friend Mr. Genuis has done yet again.
But I'll leave that aside, Mr. Chair. My question is for Mr. Stewart.
Mr. Stewart, MPs here have asked difficult questions about an ongoing investigation, and they have accused you of being evasive. Is it fair to say that you can't answer the question because there is an ongoing investigation?
I want to ask you a question about the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, a widely respected tool. In fact, as we know, it is used in a very significant way by the World Health Organization when it comes to the monitoring of pandemic data and threats to international public health more generally, beyond pandemics. You know this much better than I do; I'm just saying it for context.
There was an audit carried out recently, and this matter has come up here tonight, but I want to ask you specifically about it and get your response. I'm quoting here from a Canadian Press report that itself quotes the audit, so I'll put it on record.
The interim report concluded that the news monitoring system did identify the outbreak of the pneumonia that would [become] COVID-19 on the night of Dec. 30, 2019—
This is the point you referred to earlier, Mr. Stewart. It continues:
—and included this information from Wuhan, China, in a special report to Canadian public health officials the next day.
But the report noted that without [sending up] a formal alert, international partners relying on Canada's information were left to rely on other sources.
I'll also quote here, as the piece does, directly from the audit:
“That [the system] identified early open-source signals of what would become COVID-19 and promptly alerted senior management does not mean that the system is operating as smoothly or as clearly as it could and should,” the report concluded.
I just want to put that question to you to get your response as the president of the Public Health Agency of Canada. I think it's a relevant question, because this is something that Canadians are asking right now, and I think it deserves an answer.
Through the chair, thank you.
I would like to agree with you. It is a valued asset. GPHIN is important, and it needs to play an important role. The Public Health Agency made changes that I think diminished the value of the asset and its ability to help the health community prepare.
In my opening remarks, what I was trying to underline and note was that it actually did do its job and it did result in internal action. However, your question is underlining that it did not do the external, international role it used to play, through not transmitting an alert. We see value in those alerts, and we have corrected and restored that function.
Going forward, in terms of the report you're referring to, which is an arm's-length review that requested, there will be consideration of how we can do a better job in identifying developments of concern and responding more quickly, and to be frank, I look forward to that advice.
Mr. Chair, a few moments ago, Mr. Stewart revealed something to us that demonstrates an unfortunately all-too-common practice in the government apparatus: senior officials are advised to tell parliamentarians as little as possible.
I do not have the reference in front of me, Mr. Chair, but as a former Speaker of the House, you will most certainly be able to enlighten me on the matter. I know that an important ruling by Speaker Milliken mentioned that the state apparatus has an obligation to deliver information requested by parliamentarians.
I can understand that security or confidentiality considerations would cause the witness to be somewhat circumspect. However, I invite the Public Health Agency of Canada to provide parliamentarians with the answers to the questions that have been asked, on a confidential basis. Witnesses, especially when they are senior public servants, have a constitutional obligation to answer questions from parliamentarians in the interests of transparency and accountability.
I understand that not everything can be said publicly, but I am offering Mr. Stewart the opportunity to send us a written response, in confidence, to the questions that have been asked. Otherwise, I am telling you, Mr. Chair, we will have to take action. We cannot tolerate such an attitude from senior officials to the parliamentarians who represent the people and who are entitled to answers from those officials.
As Mr. Fragiskatos did, I am using my time to make this point. I understand that some information cannot be released publicly, but it's imperative that it be provided to parliamentarians, however it is done.
Once again, I offer Mr. Stewart the opportunity to provide a response to committee members on a confidential basis.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much, Mr. Bergeron. Your time is up.
With respect to the question you raised in your point of order, I can indicate that, when a witness says they cannot provide an answer for legal reasons, it is an answer that the committee will normally accept. Nevertheless, the committee may decide to report the situation to the House, as I mentioned.
Now we'll go to Mr. Harris, for two and a half minutes, please.
Thank you, Chair. I think you are referring to me, but I can't hear you. That's not unusual, it seems.
I would like to ask Mr. Stewart a couple more questions about the operation of the Global Public Health Intelligence Network.
During the January and February period, they gathered continuous information that didn't seem to make it to the high levels in your department. Even up until the end of February, the chief public health officer told the House of Commons health committee that the situation was under control. We had controlled the virus. There were just a dozen cases in Canada. But that really wasn't the case, was it, Mr. Stewart? It wasn't under control. In fact, two weeks later, there was a public health emergency declared. We were all under a lockdown.
Why was the information that was being garnered by this public health agency, GPHIN, being ignored? Why was that not taken into consideration in making international alerts, for one, but also for Canada taking stronger action more quickly?
Mr. Chong, what you read from the procedure book for the House of Commons suggests that the witness must answer. It does not talk about how a witness should answer. The witness has provided answers.
As I indicated earlier, and as the clerk will affirm to you, committees generally accept legal matters as a reason for not answering. The witness has given the reason that he is getting legal advice and there are legal reasons—an investigation is going on and so forth—for not answering the questions.
As I indicated, the committee has the power, if it should so decide, to report the matter, or some other matter, to the House of Commons.
Mr. Williamson, go ahead.
I call this meeting back to order.
I would now like to welcome, as an individual, Christopher Parsons, senior research associate for The Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. We also have Mr. Janis Sarts, director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, who is joining us from Riga, Latvia, where I think it's very late. Thank you both very much for being here.
I think it's 1:30 in the morning, in fact, for Mr. Sarts.
Perhaps we can start with you for your opening remarks, and then we'll go to Mr. Parsons.
Mr. Sarts, please proceed. You have five minutes.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thank you for the invitation.
I'll probably first describe the institution I represent, which is the NATO centre of excellence for strategic communication. It is a NATO-affiliated organization that researches and looks into the issues of influence operations, how hostile actors are using this for undermining the democracies, and how it works in the information space and increasingly into what we call cognitive conflict.
The views I will present today are views of my own, based on the research by the centre, and are not agreed positions of NATO itself.
With that caveat, I will sketch out how we see China in the influence operations. Of course, as a NATO institution, we have been looking for many years at Russian activity, but over the last few years we have increasingly been looking at Chinese activity.
To quickly look at how we see that activity, the way they process their influence operations through more soft touch, soft power angle of trying to create a favourable image of China has transformed, increasingly adopting hard-handed and assertive measures against countries—not only within their own neighbourhood, which was the case some time ago already, but increasingly adapting these measures also to countries that are further away, especially when there are key elements of contention where they believe Chinese interests are at stake. Of course, one has to point out the different value systems that democratic countries and China have.
If I look at the areas of influence that they are good at, in our view, they are very good at using the leverages they have, especially on the economic front and the infrastructure front. They are very active in the technology landscape, first and foremost in cyber activities, hacking and espionage, but also at more nuanced technology activities, like data and emerging technologies. They are also quite good in most of the cases, but not always, at targeting Chinese communities for their influence.
Where they are not yet very good, but they're quickly gaining ground, is in what we call the information warfare. We've noted that in most of the cases they've used what I would call an old-school methodology of the communist propaganda system that has not worked very well. However, they have been quickly adopting...in particular, some of the Russian tactics have been adopted on the information front as we speak.
As next steps, we see that they will increasingly try to leverage their technological powers and try to gain more say into the infrastructure of the future of these technologies. I believe they see data and AI as very critical future technologies where they would want to have strong leverage, not only within China but also outside.
We look at the social scoring systems they have developed, which we believe are not the way the technology has to be used, but we see, with a concern, the export of this technology and the possible impact of the social scoring system on western companies wanting to operate on Chinese territory, which I think will have significant impact.
All in all, as the Chinese modus operandi changes to a more hard-handed approach, we foresee that there will be more contention, more pressure, especially given that the core elements of the Chinese system and the way they view the world are fundamentally different from those of democratic countries. Therefore, there is in-built conflict on the values system side.
We therefore see an increase in not only the competition but also the influence operations from China. They will increasingly try to leverage especially the technology but also the economic and infrastructural positions they have.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good evening. My name is Christopher Parsons. As mentioned, I'm a senior research associate at the Citizen Lab. I appear before this committee in a professional capacity that represents my views and those of the Citizen Lab. Comments are based on our research into Chinese technology companies. The Citizen Lab is an academic institution, and our work operates at the intersection of technology and human rights.
In my time today, I want to point to some of the ways by which we can develop trust in the products and services that are manufactured in, transited through or operated from China. I do so by first turning to the issue of supply chain dependencies.
A rising concern is the extent to which Canadian companies, such as our telecoms, might become dependent on products made by Chinese companies, inclusive of Huawei. Dependency runs the risk of generating monocultures or cases in which a single company dominates a Canadian organization's infrastructure. In such cases, up to three risks can arise.
First, monocultures can enable foreign governments to leverage dependencies on a vendor to apply pressure in diplomatic, trade or defence negotiations. Second, monocultures can create a path dependency, especially in 5G telecommunications environments, where there's often a degree of vendor lock-in into vendors' telecom equipment. Third, monocultures risk hindering competition among telecommunications vendors, to the effect of increasing capital costs to Canadian telecommunications providers.
All of these challenges can in part be mediated by requiring diversity in Canadian telecommunications companies' networks, as has been recommended in the past by CSE's deputy chief of information technology security, Scott Jones. In this case, trust would come from not placing absolute trust in any given infrastructure vendor.
I now turn to building trust in software and hardware systems more generally. Software and hardware errors are often incidentally placed into digital systems. Some errors are egregious, such as including old and known vulnerable code in a piece of software. Others are more akin to spelling or grammar errors, such as failing to properly delimit a block of code. There are also limited situations where state agencies compel private companies to inject vulnerabilities into their products or services to enable espionage or attack operations.
No single policy can alleviate all of the risks posed by vulnerabilities. However, some can enhance trust by reducing the prevalence of incidental vulnerabilities and raising the cost of deliberately injecting vulnerabilities into digital systems. Some of these trust-enhancing policies include, first, requiring companies to provide a bill of goods that declares their products' software libraries and dependencies, as well as their versions. This would help ensure that known deficient code isn't placed in critical infrastructure and also help responders identify vulnerable systems upon any later discovery of vulnerabilities in the libraries or dependencies.
Second, Canada and its allies can improve on existing critical infrastructure assessments by building assessment centres that complement the U.K.'s, which presently assesses Huawei equipment. Working collectively with our allies, we'd be better able to find incidental vulnerabilities while raising the likelihood of discovering state adversaries' attempts to deliberately slip vulnerabilities into systems' codebases.
Third, Canada could adopt robust policies and processes to ensure that government agencies disclose vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure to appropriate vendors and communities, as opposed to potentially secretly hoarding them for signals intelligence or cyber-operations.
I will now briefly turn to increasing trust in Chinese social media platforms. Citizen Lab research has shown that WeChat has previously placed Canadians' communications under political surveillance to subsequently develop censor lists that are applied to China-registered WeChat accounts. Our research into TikTok, released today, revealed there's no apparent or overt political censorship or untoward surveillance of Canadians' communications on that platform.
Based on our findings, we suggest that social media companies be required to publish more information on their activities to enhance trust. This would include publishing detailed content moderation guides, publishing how and why companies engage in monitoring and censoring behaviours, publishing how organizations interact with government agencies and address their corresponding demands, and publishing annual transparency reports that detail the regularity and effects of state and non-state actors who make requests for users' data.
Platforms could also be compelled to make available algorithms for government audit where there is reason to suspect they're being used to block or suppress lawful communications in Canada or where they're being used to facilitate influence operations. Platforms could also be compelled to disclose when user data flows through or is accessible by parts of their organizations that have problematic human rights, data protection or rule of law histories.
To conclude, we at the Citizen Lab believe that the aforementioned sets of recommendations would ameliorate some of the cyber-related risks linked with the Chinese supply chain management issue, and social media platform issues more broadly. However, we also believe these policies should be applied in a vendor- and country-agnostic way to broadly improve trust in digital systems.
I would just note to the committee that the brief we have also submitted provides additional details and recommendations, especially as applied to Internet standards, which I have declined to get into in this.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your questions.
Gentlemen, thank you for joining us tonight.
My first question is for Mr. Sarts.
I served for three years as Vice-Chair of the Defence and Security Committee of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association. We often had discussions about Russia and the various physical or cyber threats. We also talked a little about China. For the last few years, we had difficulty understanding the NATO alliance's somewhat unclear position on those cyber threats.
Can you tell me briefly whether you feel that the alliance is better able to stand together against cyber threats like those from China?
Thank you, sir. I must continue. Thank you very much.
My next question is for you, Mr. Parsons. It's good to see you again.
In your report, you state that our country has a 5G strategy problem. It is linked to the fact that the Government of Canada lacks a principle-driven set of integrated, industrial, cyber security, and foreign policy strategies that directly and meaningfully address the challenges raised by the current and expected 5G landscape.
Can you tell us more about this lack of a comprehensive strategy and how this leaves Canada vulnerable to China?
I believe, and this is paralleled by the CSE, that what's required is to ensure that our networks have multiple vendors operating in them. That may mean that there's a combination of Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia and other vendors as appropriate.
In order to assess them, again, I think we would work collaboratively with our international partners to ensure that the technologies that are going in are fit for duty. Moreover, we're talking about billion-dollar purchases. We can impose some sort of expectations on interoperability.
Further, with regard to stickiness, there's a process taking place right now called Open RAN, which would, in a way, democratize some of the way telecommunications equipment is set up. It would basically let you take equipment off the shelf, as opposed to highly specialized equipment, and use that to develop parts of the 5G radio network.
I believe that the Canadian government pushing towards that would be one way of improving the network and reducing some of the stickiness at least.
I would like to thank the witnesses for being here, for giving us their time and for enlightening us with their comments. I am clearly grateful to Mr. Parsons, but particularly to Mr. Sarts, given the very late hour. I will address Mr. Sarts first.
On February 22 of this year, the European Parliament held a meeting of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation. You participated in that meeting and discussed how disinformation works. When we look at your findings on the 2019 European parliamentary elections and the 2020 American election, we have every reason to be very concerned about what's next.
You will be able to enlighten me on this, but one might think that all NATO countries are facing this same sort of foreign intervention in elections. But it is a bit surprising that, according to Greg Austin, who leads the Cyber, Space and Future Conflict Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, China's cyber defence capabilities are far below those of the major western powers, including Canada. For example, Canada ranks 9th of 155 countries assessed, while China ranks 27th.
Aside from the fact that they rely heavily on private companies, why would western powers allow themselves to be put in this vulnerable position without reacting?
Thank you for the question.
We've been looking.... Most of these social media companies that we use for everyday life have become the agora for democratic process. Most of the elections actually play out in these platforms. We've detected that most—basically all—of those platforms are manipulable by robotic networks to put the messages and to game the algorithms—including during the election processes—to advance particular interests, including of hostile actors.
We've been measuring, every year, how well the platforms do in taking out these robotic networks from platforms, and the results have been very disappointing. Back in 2019, when there were European Parliament elections, we bought 55,000 different actions through robotic accounts on social media—of course, neutral effects—for 300 euros. During the EU parliamentary elections, 90% of that got delivered.
We repeated the same experiment during the U.S. presidential election, once again in a neutral manner. We were able to buy likes, shares, views, custom-made comments and all of that, but this time 300,000 for $300. About 70% of that got through. Basically, there was an option for outside actors to influence the discourse.
Most of the companies were incapable of eradicating that process. If I had to measure the companies, typically Twitter is the best at it. Facebook is less so. Last year, we measured TikTok for the first time. TikTok is basically defenceless. You can do any gaming of that system that you wish. Of course, the more potential electors there are out there, the more malign things can be happening.
Clearly, that goes back to Mr. Parsons's point that there is no way to oversee what the social media companies are doing. They're declaring great success, but when we turn to the vendors of these manipulations, it's cheap, available and effective. We have to have oversight to make sure that it is neither simple nor easy.
Yes. Two years ago, we tried an experiment trying the hypothesis that open-source data can be used to influence human behaviour. We did an experiment together with the Latvian armed forces, during a military exercise, where we scraped the open-source data for the soldiers. Based on that data, we tried to impact their behaviour during the military exercise.
We succeeded in making soldiers disobey orders, making them leave the positions they were supposed to defend, just based on the data that was available. This basically underlined the future risk of big data that is available. If it's used in a malign way, it can not only bring, as it does currently, the marketing product; it can also shift beliefs and behaviours. In the wrong hands, it is a very dangerous tool.
In that respect, I would highlight the future risks of 5G. It's not only about the infrastructure; it's also about the data that is going to flow in that system. It is incredibly valuable, if you look from the hostile actor's perspective, to get access to that kind of societal data, because with certain AI capacity you could actually sway the behaviours of the other societies.
Thank you, Mr. Harris.
As we only have a few minutes remaining, what I propose to do is try to distribute it equitably, with three minutes to Mr. Williamson and three minutes to Ms. Zann.
Then, Mr. Bergeron will have one minute and 30 seconds.
Finally, Mr. Harris will also have one and a half minutes.
Mr. Williamson, you have three minutes.
I have to say, it's been very interesting, both the meeting and the presentations. I want to thank both gentlemen for the very interesting information they've shared with us. I wish I had longer.
Mr. Sarts, I would like to ask you about “Disinformation as a Threat to National Security”, in your book Disinformation and Fake News.
You must have been extremely concerned when you saw what was going on in the United States with regard to the storming of Washington, of the capitol, and with all of the disinformation that has been propagated on social media and really continues.
Can you please explain to us how you think we can best fight against the creation of divisions in society and the widening of existing fractures that undermine trust in government, the military, and the country's security systems?
I would say first, yes, we're undergoing profound change in the information environment, the very core of what creates and makes the democratic process run, the bloodstream of a democracy. It's changing in a way that is not helpful for society coming together.
To a large extent it is because the social media companies have found a way to monetize that environment through promoting information that is biased, creating echo chambers or information bubbles, and increasingly putting the citizens within those bubbles. It is with outside interference that it happens, and of course, outside hostile actors just exacerbate that situation.
Therefore, going back to the fundamentals, we have to make sure that the rules and laws we have in a normal democratic discourse would be applied to the same place. At least the algorithmic transparency is a must, and of course, then we would see how to make it more adequate.
My question is for Mr. Parsons.
Adam Segal, director of the digital security program at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes that both WeChat and TikTok should not be installed on the phones of U.S. officials or government employees.
In your brief, you mention that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service apparently warned members of Parliament that they should avoid using WeChat, because of nebulous cybersecurity risks.
Should Canadians and Quebeckers also be concerned about WeChat and TikTok, and follow the recommendations from CSIS?
Mr. Parsons, I have lots of questions for you but not very much time to ask them.
One very important one is that you make six recommendations regarding what companies should be required to publish with respect to their social media platforms, including publishing guidelines explaining the way they're subject to state mandate and surveillance, that they make their algorithms available for government audits, that they provide transparency reports, and so on.
Do we have the means to actually force companies to do those things in order to be able to operate in this country?