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Facebook pledges funding to non-profit election security group

The social network will give $500,000 to help start the bipartisan organization.

Just last week, Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center launched Defending Digital Democracy, an across-the-aisles bipartisan effort to find ways to protect against election hacking. The group includes campaign managers from Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns as well Google and Facebook security staffers. A new report on Reuters says that Facebook will also provide an initial funding of $500,000 to the nonprofit.

Facebook's chief of security Alex Stamos announced the initial amount during the opening of the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, but did not reveal how much Facebook would spend in total. "Right now we are the founding sponsor, but we are in discussions with other tech organizations," Stamos told Reuters 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."

The social network's security chief also encouraged companies to be open to complying with law enforcement requests, as across-the-board rejection of such requests could lead to encryption-unfriendly legislation. "We're not going to be effective unless we demonstrate that we have the same goals," said Stamos in his speech. "I want to present our position that strong cryptography is a critical part of building a safe, trustworthy future."

We've reached out to Facebook for comment on this matter and will update the post when we hear back.

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