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Tech companies meet to prepare for US midterm elections

Aug 24, 2018, 2:45 pm

Top US technology companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Google are meeting today, in San Francisco to discuss strategies in order to prevent meddling in the 2018 US midterm elections. The meeting is held at Twitter’s headquarters and all the companies are supposed to discuss the work they have been doing to combat misinformation. They are to discuss ways to solve the problems and argue whether such a tech meet should be held every year.

Facebook’s head of cybersecurity coverage, Nathaniel Gleicher, invited staff from a dozen firms, together with Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat, to collect at Twitter’s headquarters in downtown San Francisco, in accordance with an e-mail obtained by BuzzFeed Information.

As I’ve talked about to a number of of you over the previous couple of weeks, now we have been seeking to schedule a follow-on dialogue to our trade dialog about data operations, election safety, and the work we’re all doing to sort out these challenges. – Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebooks head of cybersecurity coverage

It is appropriate to mention that In May, nine of these 12 companies met at Facebook to discuss similar problems, alongside two US government representatives, Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chris Krebs and Mike Burham from the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, created in November. Attendees had left the meeting discouraged that they received little information from the government.

Facebook and Twitter had faced intense scrutiny for how slowly they had initially reacted to foreign intelligence reports and were blamed that affiliated operations had manipulated users ahead of the previous 2016 election. This had led to a sharp drop in user confidence and received a threat of regulation from lawmakers.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it had, for the 12th time since 2016, legally acquired control of a handful of web domains registered by Russian military intelligence for phishing operations, then shut them down. The next day, after receiving a tip from the threat intelligence company FireEye, Facebook and Twitter announced they had taken down a network of fake news sites and spoofed users meant to create sympathy for the Iranian government’s worldview. Google made a similar announcement about YouTube on Thursday.

The meeting highlights tech companies’ recent efforts of the 2018 election strategy, to be more proactive with governments’ use of their sites to achieve political goals. Several companies have announced operations this week where they partnered with other organizations to address such problems.

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