Apple attended meeting w/ US intelligence officials in May to discuss midterm election interference

The New York Times reports that Apple was among a handful of technology companies that attended a meeting with U.S. intelligence officials last month. The meeting was held at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California and focused on the upcoming midterm elections…

According to the report, the meeting took place on May 23rd and was attended by representatives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oath, Snap, and Twitter. Attending on behalf of the U.S. was Christopher Krebs, an under-secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a representative of the FBI’s new “foreign influence” task force .

The meeting was initiated by Facebook with the goal of ensuring that the midterm elections this fall go without the level of Russian interference as we saw in the 2016 election. The meeting served as “the first significant discussion between a group of tech companies and intelligence officials ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.”

Those in attendance, however, said the meeting was “tense” as the tech companies “repeatedly pressed federal officials for information,” but were unable to learn anything. Specifically, the tech companies wanted to know if the FBI or Department of Homeland Security could offer any details about threats they should anticipate:

The tech companies shared details about disinformation campaigns they were witnessing on their platforms, but neither the F.B.I. nor the Department of Homeland Security was willing or able to share specific information about threats the tech companies should anticipate, the people said.

Apple this week announced its own focus on providing “fact-based” news coverage of the midterm elections through Apple News. Furthermore, Tim Cook highlighted the need for such news during an interview last night, saying it was easy to tell that the news was “going a little crazy” and trying to “enrage people.”

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