Top tech firms, intelligence officials met to discuss election meddling: report

Top tech firms, intelligence officials met to discuss election meddling: report
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Representatives from eight major technology companies met with U.S. intelligence officials last month to discuss election security on their platforms in advance of the 2018 midterms, according to a New York Times report.

Representatives from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oath, Snap and Twitter reportedly met with intelligence officials at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on May 23.

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Officials in attendance included Christopher Krebs, an undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security, and a representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s new “foreign influence” task force.

According to the report, officials did not share intelligence with the companies or advise them on threats to expect despite the tech companies pressing for more information.

The meeting was reportedly initiated by Facebook, sources told the Times.

One attendee at the meeting said the encounter led them to believe tech companies would be left to themselves to handle election meddling on their platforms.

Companies and officials are looking to avoid the widespread issues that arose on social media platforms during the 2016 election cycle.

This included Russian trolls attempting to meddle in elections by using social media in an attempt to sow discord.

The report noted that one Russian troll group, the Internet Research Agency which was named in an indictment by special counsel’ Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE in his probe into election meddling, has gotten savvier in its work. The group is now masking its posts online in a manner harder to track for intelligence officials.