Tech companies prepare together for US presidential election US

Large American tech companies are preparing together in a consultation on how the American presidential elections can proceed. One of the scenarios discussed is how the parties will deal with an unclear outcome on election night, writes Politico.

It is assumed that because of the pandemic many people will vote by post. This makes it uncertain whether there will be a result at the end of election day on 3 November. What the companies want to do in that case has not been announced.

Hacking and leaking

As well as Facebook, Google and Twitter, other parties are also involved in the consultation, such as the organisation behind Wikipedia, reports The New York Times. A Facebook statement shows that nine parties are participating.

The group’s statement:

The NY Times further writes that the group met with the FBI, the office of the director of security services and the Department of Homeland Security yesterday. Such consultations have taken place periodically over the past four years

The cooperation at different levels is intended to prevent a repetition of 2016. At that time, Russian trolls managed to interfere in the American presidential elections, for example by placing fake advertisements and news. Also, the personal e-mail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign leader, John Podesta, was hacked and its content leaked.

This came in for a lot of criticism, particularly from Facebook, the largest social network in the world. This was partly because, according to critics, the company reacted too late to foreign interference. According to The New York Times, it remains to be seen what the partnership will ultimately yield, because companies themselves are responsible for preventing interference on their platforms.