Big Tech & Big Brother meet at Facebook HQ to discuss how to ‘secure’ US elections

Security groups for Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft met with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence’s workplace to coordinate a method to safe the 2020 elections.

The tech platforms met with authorities officers at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on Wednesday, the corporate has confirmed, boasting that Big Tech and Big Brother have developed a “complete technique” to get management of earlier election-related “vulnerabilities” whereas “analyzing and getting forward of recent threats.”

Facebook has scrambled to get in entrance of the 2020 election after being blamed for Trump’s 2016 electoral victory over merely permitting the “Russian trolls” to purchase a bunch of adverts, most of which appeared after the vote and had nothing to do with the election. But the corporate insisted final week it had tightened its guidelines for verifying purchasers of “political” adverts, for actual this time, after the 2018 contest confirmed they may nonetheless be duped into operating obviously-fake adverts “paid for by” the Islamic State terror group and Cambridge Analytica.

Aside from the occasional purge of accounts accused of being linked to international locations like Russia, Iran, and China on the US’ ever-lengthening enemies’ checklist, nevertheless, it’s laborious to inform what precisely any platform has accomplished to make itself immune to ‘manipulation’. Twitter banned state-owned media from shopping for adverts on its platform final month, holding the transfer up as a victory towards the dreaded “international meddling,” however its personal founder’s account was hacked final week, suggesting it has larger safety points than just a few wrongthink-prone advertisers.

And Google’s potential to sway elections has been the topic of Senate hearings – but the corporate has remained silent on addressing the drawback, suggesting it doesn’t see it as a bug at all, however a function. Subsidiary YouTube, in the meantime, performed one other spherical of deplatforming final month even whereas declaring it was an open platform for controversial concepts.

The electoral assembly of the minds got here much less than per week after the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) declared struggle on deepfakes and different doubtlessly discord-sowing info, promising to neutralize all “malicious” content material inside 4 years – if not for this election, then actually for the subsequent.

Until then, there’s Microsoft’s ElectionGuard software program, which the firm introduced in July it will present to all of the nation’s voting machines, freed from cost, out of the goodness of its (and the Pentagon-owned contractor that helped develop this system’s) coronary heart. And if Microsoft’s act of selfless charity doesn’t persuade a district their democracy is price defending, there’s at all times Cyberdome, the election safety nonprofit suggested by half a dozen former intel company heads who need what’s finest on your vote (once they’re not authorizing torture or warrantless wiretapping).

Getting the DHS concerned was a pleasant contact, too, after that company was accused of making an attempt to hack electoral techniques in a number of states hundreds of occasions through the interval surrounding the 2016 election. Unlike the “Russian hacking” allegations that stay unproven, a number of officers from Idaho, Georgia, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky declare the company tried to entry their techniques after they opposed its efforts to “safe” these techniques. After initially denying any involvement, the DHS claimed the tried breach alarms had been set off unintentionally, throughout routine “legitimate work.”

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