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World Economic Forum: FBI increasing ‘collaboration’ with businesses

FBI Director Christopher Wray delivers the keynote address during the 2020 Boston Conference on Cyber Security at Boston College on March 4, 2020, in Boston. (Angela Rowlings/Boston Herald/TNS)
January 20, 2023

FBI Director Christopher Wray hinted at increasing “collaboration” between American businesses and the federal government during the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.

“I think the sophistication of the private sector is improving, and — particularly important — the level of collaboration between the private sector and the government, especially the FBI, has I think made significant strides,” he said.

His comment came 22 minutes and 50 seconds into a panel discussion called “In the Name of National Security.” The full conversation is viewable on the WEF website.

Wray was responding to a question from moderator Gordon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of WIRED, about whether U.S. infrastructure is “becoming more vulnerable or less vulnerable.” 

The FBI has faced controversy in recent months for at least one instance of private sector collaboration.

The agency came under fire after the extent of its influence over Twitter’s content moderation was revealed late last year. After acquiring Twitter in October, its new CEO Elon Musk publicized batches of internal documents showing that the agency had been in regular contact with its previous leadership. 

The FBI had directly requested that Twitter take down election-related tweets and suspend accounts, and their advice reportedly “primed” Twitter officials to suspect the so-called Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation and restrict sharing it.

The story, an unwelcome surprise for the Democrats late in the election cycle, was widely shunned and discredited at the time but has been largely verified in the years since.

The alleged politicization of the FBI is one of the main targets of a new subcommittee in the House of Representatives investigating the “weaponization of the federal government,” as reported by CBS News.

More than 2,700 world leaders, including at least 11 members of Congress, are spending this week at the Davos meeting, where they’re discussing ways to manage the global system. This year’s event involves speeches and panel discussions on issues like recession fears, the Ukraine war and climate change.