Microsoft has joined representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, to meet with officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The purpose of the full-day meeting was to discuss security measures the companies would put in place to prevent election interference, including via disinformation campaigns, such as that which plagued the 2016 Presidential Elections.
The companies also discussed how they could use government assistance to keep their own sites and services safe.
Microsoft already has its own Defending Democracy program with the goal of:
- Protect campaigns from hacking through increased cyber resilience measures, enhanced account monitoring and incident response capabilities;
- Increase political advertising transparency online by supporting relevant legislative proposals such as the Honest Ads Act and adopting additional self-regulatory measures across our platforms;
- Explore technological solutions to preserve and protect electoral processes and engage with federal, state and local officials to identify and remediate cyber threats; and
- Defend against disinformation campaigns in partnership with leading academic institutions and think tanks dedicated to countering state-sponsored computational propaganda and junk news.
Hopefully, the joint response will mean the outcome of the election will reflect the properly informed views of voters rather than manipulation by foreign powers.