Apple discusses “disinformation” with US intelligence representatives

According to a New York Times report, Apple and a couple of other tech firms attended a meeting with US intelligence officials in May. The gathering took place at Facebook’s Menlo Park, its headquarters in California, and centred on the pending midterm elections.

The report said that the meeting occurred on 23 May 2018 and that not only Apple but also Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Snap, Oath and Twitter sent delegates. Speaking on behalf of the US government was the Department of Homeland Security’s Under-Secretary Christopher Krebs. Also present was an unnamed delegate from the FBI’s newly created “foreign influence” task force.

The gathering took place at the request of Facebook, and the aim was to make sure that the midterm elections scheduled for the fall of 2018 will be without the “Russian interference” that the US claims took place during the 2016 election.

This was the first important meeting between technology companies such as Apple and representatives from the intelligence community during the run-up to next year’s midterm elections.

Those who attended described the meeting as “tense” with the tech firms not getting any answers to the questions they posed to the cloak-and-dagger guys. They specifically wanted to know whether the DHS or FBI could provide details of a specific threat, but none was forthcoming.

The technology firms, including Apple, shared information about “disinformation” campaigns that they picked up on their various platforms with the intelligence community representatives.

This week, Apple announced a renewed focus on delivering what it called “fact-based news” regarding the midterm elections on Apple News.

Apart from that, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook again stressed the need for such “fact-based news” in an interview this week. He reportedly claimed that news was becoming irrational and that outlets were purposefully attempting to “enrage people”.


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