Facebook schools politicians on social network security

Just as government plans to compel the company to weaken its encryption

Facebook today gave federal politicians a lesson on how to stay secure on the social network.

It is part of a continuing effort to “ensure the integrity of Australia’s democracy” by encouraging politicians to enhance personal cyber security measures, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan said in a statement this morning.

The social media network and Whatsapp, the secure messaging service it owns, are among those called upon by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to provide access for security agencies to encrypted communications services. The network was also picked out by the prime minister as one that provided “too much tolerance of extremist material”.

The government plans to introduce legislation to compel cooperation from “the Internet companies like a Facebook” Turnbull said last month.

Facebook has warned against weakening encryption.

In today’s briefing, politicians were taught about the security features available on the social media site and how to use them, said Facebook’s director of policy, Mia Garlick .

“Our security systems run in the background millions of times per second to help catch threats and remove them before they ever reach you. Using Facebook also means you're getting strong security to protect your communications. We also have easy-to-use security tools to help you add an extra layer your account,” she said in a statement.

Politicians from both sides of the house were also able to attend an update on the cyber security threat landscape from the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

The briefing follows one offered to Party leaders from the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) earlier this year.

“Today’s cyber security briefing continues the government’s efforts to protect our democracy,” Tehan added.