Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security met with counterparts at tech companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter to discuss election security, Facebook confirmed.
“The purpose was to build on previous discussions and further strengthen strategic collaboration regarding the security of the 2020 U.S. state, federal, and presidential elections,” according to a statement from Facebook head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher.
First reported by Bloomberg, the meeting between America’s largest technology companies and the trio of government security agencies responsible for election security is a sign of how seriously the government and the country’s largest technology companies are treating the threat of foreign intervention into elections.
Earlier this year the Office of the Inspector General issued a report saying that the Department of Homeland Security has not done enough to safeguard elections in the United States.
Throughout the year, reports of persistent media manipulation and the dissemination of propaganda on social media platforms have cropped up not just in the United States but around the world.
In April, Facebook removed a number of accounts ahead of the Spanish election for their role in spreading misinformation about the campaign.
Companies have responded to the threat by updating different mechanisms for users to call out fake accounts and improving in-house technologies used to combat the spread of misinformation.
Twitter, for instance, launched a reporting tool whereby users can flag misleading tweets.
“Improving election security and countering information operations are complex challenges that no organization can solve alone,” said Gleicher in a statement. “Today’s meeting builds on our continuing commitment to work with industry and government partners, as well as with civil society and security experts, to better understand emerging threats and prepare for future elections.”