Tech didn’t spot Russian interference during the last election. Now it’s asking law enforcement for help.
Silicon Valley companies and law enforcement are starting to talk about how to ward off meddling by malicious actors including Russia on social media in the November midterms, an attempt at dialogue and information-sharing that was absent during the 2016 presidential elections. Facebook quietly convened a meeting in May 2018 with representatives from the biggest players in the technology industry along with Christopher Krebs, an under secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s newly formed “foreign influence” task force. Google, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Snap and the parent company of Yahoo and AOL, Verizon subsidiary Oath, attended. People who attended described a tense atmosphere in which the tech companies repeatedly pressed federal officials for information, only to be told — repeatedly — that no specific intelligence would be shared. The tech companies shared details about disinformation campaigns they were witnessing on their platforms, but neither the FBI nor the Department of Homeland Security was willing or able to share specific information about threats the tech companies should anticipate. One attendee of the meeting said the encounter led the tech companies to believe they would be on their own to counter election interference.
Tech didn’t spot Russian interference during the last election. Now it’s asking law enforcement for help. Top Tech Companies Met With Intelligence Officials to Discuss Midterms (NYTimes)