Livestream: Senate hearing on Russian election hacking, as Google, Facebook, and Twitter testify

The tech giants are in Washington to talk about Russian 'disinformation online' and to discuss solutions for fighting it.

russia inquiry

Four things we learned when Facebook, Google, Twitter testified

Tuesday's hearing in the Senate marks the first of several hearings involving the tech giants and how Russian-backed hackers and propagandists used their services to spread misinformation and false news.

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On Tuesday, three US tech giants--Facebook, Google, and Twitter--at the center of the controversy on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election started their public hearing in the Senate.

The hearing resumes on Wednesday at 9:30am.

Our sister site, CBSN, will be carrying live coverage. You can view it in the embedded video livestream above or access CBSN live from your computer, mobile device, or TV streaming device (Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Fire TV, etc.).

SEE: Cyberwar and the Future of Cybersecurity (a ZDNet/TechRepublic special report)

Scheduled to testify are:

  • Colin Stretch, General Counsel at Facebook
  • Sean Edgett, Acting General Counsel at Twitter
  • Richard Salgado, Director of Law Enforcement and Information Security at Google
  • Clint Watts, Robert A. Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Michael S. Smith II, Terrorism Analyst (Charleston, SC)

They will be testifying before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. The title of the hearing is "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with Tech to Find Solutions" and it's taking place in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building--across the street from the US Capitol.

SEE: Video: How Russia and other state actors hack social media (TechRepublic)

They will testify before a nine-member committee that includes:

  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman
  • John Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Ted Cruz (R-TX)
  • Ben Sasse (R-NE)
  • John Neely Kennedy (R-LA)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ranking Member
  • Dick Durbin (D-IL)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Chris Coons (D-DE)
graham.jpg

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will chair the hearing in which Google, Facebook, and Twitter will testify.

Image: CBS News

On Tuesday, Facebook's Stretch admitted that Russians used the company's platform to try to influence the election and "sow discord." Stretch said, "The foreign interference we saw is reprehensible." He also commented that it continued after the election, when the foreign powers used similar tactics to try to delegitimize the election results.

The impact of these hearings on businesses could include new regulations for cybersecurity, social media marketing, and electronic communications in general. For tech companies, it could mean new levels of accountability and transparency. Stay tuned to ZDNet and TechRepublic for further analysis.

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