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The FBI visits Facebook to talk about 2020 election security, with Google, Microsoft and Twitter joining

Key Points
  • U.S. tech companies on Wednesday met with various U.S. government agencies to discuss their preparation for the 2020 presidential election.
  • The meeting included Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, according to a source familiar with the matter.
  • Agencies in attendance included the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg leaves after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on May 10, 2019.
Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter met on Wednesday with U.S. government officials to discuss their preparations for the 2020 election, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher confirmed in a statement Thursday.

The meeting took place at the Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Gleicher said. Agencies in attendance included the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"Participants discussed their respective work, explored potential threats, and identified further steps to improve planning and coordination," Gleicher said in the statement. "Specifically, attendees talked about how industry and government could improve how we share information and coordinate our response to better detect and deter threats."

"We always welcome the opportunity to spend time with our peer companies and the government agencies tasked with protecting the integrity of the 2020 election," a Twitter spokesman told CNBC in a statement. "This is a joint effort in response to a shared threat, and we are committed to doing our part."

In 2016, the U.S. fell victim to a coordinated disinformation campaign by Russia across various social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Since then, the companies have ramped up their efforts to thwart these orchestrated efforts by nation states. Most notably, Facebook set up a so-called war room ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

Google is investing in systems to detect phishing and hacking attempts, identify foreign interference on its platforms and protect candidates' campaigns from digital attacks, said Richard Salgado, Google's director of law enforcement and information security.

"We will continue to monitor our platforms while sharing relevant information with law enforcement and industry peers," Salgado said in a statement. "It is crucial that industry, law enforcement and others collaborate to prevent any threats to the integrity of our elections."

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