Tech Censorship

Twitter and the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF)

In a curious exchange, the government expresses annoyance with Twitter for reporting little “recent” foreign activity

“Protected voices”


Twitter avatar for @mtaibbi

Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi
Twitter avatar for @mtaibbi

Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi

1.THREAD: Twitter Files Supplemental

On Friday, I posted a series of exchanges between Twitter and the FBI. One that required a bit too much explaining was left out. But it’s an important document, because it clearly demonstrates that Twitter will not only take requests from the government, it will even act quickly to align its analyses with its “partners.”

In the summer of 2020, the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF*) sent a series of written questions to Trust and Safety Chief Yoel Roth by way of FBI Agent Elvis Chan and the San Francisco field office. The exchange was forwarded to Twitter on July 14, 2020, in reference to a prior June, 2020 “DHS/ODNI/FBI/Industry” briefing, which Twitter and perhaps other companies attended.

The FITF is a multi-agency task force created by Christopher Wray in 2017 that includes the FBI, DHS, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It says its mission is “to identify and counteract malign foreign influence operations targeting the United States. The photo array at the top of this page — from a larger, perfectly diverse collection of officials, all in the same suit — is from the FITF’s “protected voices” initiative. This is a series of videos designed to help “political campaigns, companies, and individuals” protect against ransomware, email compromise, and other problems.

The task force emphasizes “private sector partnerships” with “U.S. technology companies,” with whom they engage in “threat indicator sharing.” Twitter is obviously one of those companies.


Categories: Tech Censorship

Leave a Reply