Facebook, Google, and other tech giant companies such as Twitter and Microsoft met with U.S. intelligence officials yesterday to talk about various efforts of the tech companies to ensure that the upcoming U.S. presidential election won't be affected by “misinformation” and hacking.
“Participants discussed their respective work, explored potential threats, and identified further steps to improve planning and coordination,” Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in the statement. “Specifically, attendees talked about how industry and government could improve how we share information and coordinate our response to better detect and deter threats.”
“We always welcome the opportunity to spend time with our peer companies and the government agencies tasked with protecting the integrity of the 2020 election,” a Twitter spokesman said in statement. “This is a joint effort in response to a shared threat, and we are committed to doing our part.”
Attending on behalf of the U.S. government were staff members of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
According to the source, the full-day meeting was to discuss how tech giants such as Facebook and Google are preparing for the coming election, especially on matters about online security, and government-backed online disinformation campaigns. The U.S. Government appears interested in preventing what it says was a disinformation campaign from Russia during the 2016 election, in the 2020 election.
Also discussed during the meeting were plans for better coordination of security efforts between tech giants and government agencies. This is something which was not done during the last U.S. presidential elections. Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy is spearheading the meeting.
Facebook has been gearing up for the coming U.S. presidential elections for the past couple of months. Ahead of the midterm elections, it has created a “war room” at its headquarters where issues about online security are immediately addressed especially in the period leading up to the day of the election.
Additionally, after facing criticism from Democrats Facebook and other tech giants have already implemented stricter policies when it comes to political advertising served on their respective platforms. Facebook is now requiring political advertisers to undergo verification and documentation procedures. It has also launched a public database of all the political ads that have run on the social networking platform. Twitter and Google have also done similar procedures in their respective advertising platforms.
This year, a Google executive was caught suggesting that they want to prevent a “Trump situation” in 2020.