Joe Menn at Reuters reports that Facebook is pitching in an initial $500,000 in seed funding to launch a nonprofit that will work to protect American political parties, voting systems and information providers from malicious attacks by hackers and foreign nation-states.
“Defending Digital Democracy” will be led by former campaign chairs for Hillary Clinton (D) and Mitt Romney (R), and will start out at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, which announced the project last week.
From Joe's Reuters report:
Facebook said it hoped additional participants would turn it into a freestanding information-sharing center controlled by its members. Facebook, with two billion monthly users, bills itself as a vehicle for political debate and education, but was also used as a major platform to spread fake news and propaganda during the U.S. election campaign in 2016.
Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos announced the company's backing at the opening of the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The event, named after the term for malicious hackers, is aimed mainly at corporate and government security professionals.
Stamos declined to say how much money the Facebook would spend.
"Right now we are the founding sponsor, but we are in discussions with other tech organizations," Stamos said in an interview before the speech. "The goal for our money specifically is to help build a standalone ISAO (Information Sharing and Analysis Organization) that pulls in all the different groups that have some kind of vulnerability."
As Facebook users drift away from the platform, the company is becoming increasingly desperate to lure them back, doubling down on its obnoxious tactic of spamming users whose activity has fallen off with notifications intended to pique their interest in using the service again.
Singhealth, a Singaporean public health service, suffered the worst breach in Singaporean history, losing control of 1.5 million peoples' data; included in the breach was prescription data on 160,000 people, including Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.
Online services increasingly rely on SMS messages for two-factor authentication, which means on the one hand that it's really hard to rip you off without first somehow stealing your phone number, but on the other hand, once someone diverts your SMS messages, they can plunder everything
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