Australian electoral authorities have for the first time set up a cybersecurity task force and are working with social media companies to tackle misinformation in the run up to general elections on May 18, an official said on Thursday.
Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said safeguarding the elections integrity gained priority due to experiences in other countries, including Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that included use of social media.
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Rogers said he was having daily briefings with the Electoral Integrity Assurance Task Force, which comprises the nations major security agencies and government departments.
He declined to detail the task forces functions, but said they included dealing with disinformation spread through social media.
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The major task, in my view, for the cyber task force is to make sure that all of our electoral systems are safe and secure and thats occurring constantly, but at the same time were also alert to this idea of disinformation, Rogers told reporters.
Rogers said he was in almost daily contact with social media companies Facebook, Google and Twitter.
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