Trump’s new presidential limo is a beastly take on the Cadillac CT6

The new presidential limousine — and an identical one called a “spare” that travels in President Donald Trump’s motorcade for added security— was spotted this week on the streets of New York. This new “Beast,” like so many before it, is a Cadillac . But this time, the heavily armored vehicle produced by GM, is designed […]

The new presidential limousine — and an identical one called a “spare” that travels in President Donald Trump’s motorcade for added security— was spotted this week on the streets of New York. This new “Beast,” like so many before it, is a Cadillac .

But this time, the heavily armored vehicle produced by GM, is designed after the Cadillac CT6. (Although if you look closely there are some Escalade influences in there.) The last version of the presidential limo used during the Obama Administration was modeled after a Cadillac DTS.

The Secret Service dictates much of the design of the presidential limousine such as a heavy-duty chassis and armored material. There are other accoutrements inside the vehicle, which is based on a GM truck platform. GM didn’t provide many details however, citing security reasons.

“It’s GM’s honor to develop and build the presidential limousine, a great American tradition,” a GM spokesperson said in an emailed statement to TechCrunch. “Continuing a rich history of Cadillac limousines that have served many U.S. presidents, the new car embodies Cadillac’s style and craftsmanship. The limousine, which was designed and built in Detroit, proudly resembles the Cadillac CT6 sedan. This being a secure project, we cannot discuss further details.”

GM won federal contracts worth $15.8 million to develop two phases of what the government describes as a “next-generation parade limousine program.” GM has other multi-million dollar contracts with the Secret Service to supply the agency with services and vehicles.

Here’s what we do know: the custom tank-like Cadillac CT6 appeared for the first time in public on Sunday. The Secret Service even tweeted out an image promoting the vehicle ahead of this week’s United Nations General Assembly meetings.

If this presidential Cadillac CT6 is anything like its predecessors, then the vehicle is outfitted with everything you’d need to stay alive in the midst of an attack, including a bullet-proof glass, a supply of the president’s blood type and an independent air supply to thwart a chemical attack.

The last Beast, a 2009 custom Cadillac DTS, was unveiled on former President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day. The vehicle, which featured 19.5-inch wheels and seating for five, was in production for two years. The interior included a fold-out desk for the president.

Facebook pilots new political campaign security tools — just 50 days before Election Day

Facebook has rolled out a “pilot” program of new security tools for political campaigns — just weeks before millions of Americans go to the polls for the midterm elections. The social networking giant said it’s targeting campaigns that “may be particularly vulnerable to targeting by hackers and foreign adversaries.” Once enrolled, Facebook said it’ll help […]

Facebook has rolled out a “pilot” program of new security tools for political campaigns — just weeks before millions of Americans go to the polls for the midterm elections.

The social networking giant said it’s targeting campaigns that “may be particularly vulnerable to targeting by hackers and foreign adversaries.”

Once enrolled, Facebook said it’ll help campaigns adopt stronger security protections, “like two-factor authentication and monitor for potential hacking threats,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, in a Monday blog post.

Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the company “didn’t do enough” in the 2016 presidential election to prevent meddling and spreading misinformation, yet took a lashing from lawmakers for failing to step up in the midterms.

A former Obama campaign official told TechCrunch that the offering was important — but late.

“Fifty days is an eternity in campaign time,” said Harper Reed, who served as President Obama’s chief technology officer during the 2012 re-election campaign. “At this point, if [a campaign] has made gross security problems, they’ve already made them.”

But he questioned if now equipping campaigns with security tools will “actually solve the problem, or if it just solves Facebook’s PR problem.”

Facebook — like other tech giants — has been under the microscope in recent years after the social networking giant failed to prevent foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election, in which adversaries — typically Russia — used the platform to spread disinformation.

The company’s done more to crack down on foreign interference campaigns after facing rebuke from lawmakers.

But ahead of the midterms, even the company’s former chief security officer was critical of Facebook. In an interview at Disrupt SF, Alex Stamos said that critical steps to protect the midterms hadn’t been taken in time.

“If there’s no foreign interference during the midterms, it’s not because we did a great job. It’s because our adversaries decided to [show] a little forbearance, which is unfortunate,” said Stamos.

Facebook, for its part, said its latest rollout of security tools “might be expanded to future elections and other users” beyond the midterms.

“Hacking is a part of elections,” said Reed. But with just two months to go before voters go to the polls, campaigns “have to just keep doing what they’re doing,” he said.

Facebook pilots new political campaign security tools — just 50 days before Election Day

Facebook has rolled out a “pilot” program of new security tools for political campaigns — just weeks before millions of Americans go to the polls for the midterm elections. The social networking giant said it’s targeting campaigns that “may be particularly vulnerable to targeting by hackers and foreign adversaries.” Once enrolled, Facebook said it’ll help […]

Facebook has rolled out a “pilot” program of new security tools for political campaigns — just weeks before millions of Americans go to the polls for the midterm elections.

The social networking giant said it’s targeting campaigns that “may be particularly vulnerable to targeting by hackers and foreign adversaries.”

Once enrolled, Facebook said it’ll help campaigns adopt stronger security protections, “like two-factor authentication and monitor for potential hacking threats,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, in a Monday blog post.

Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the company “didn’t do enough” in the 2016 presidential election to prevent meddling and spreading misinformation, yet took a lashing from lawmakers for failing to step up in the midterms.

A former Obama campaign official told TechCrunch that the offering was important — but late.

“Fifty days is an eternity in campaign time,” said Harper Reed, who served as President Obama’s chief technology officer during the 2012 re-election campaign. “At this point, if [a campaign] has made gross security problems, they’ve already made them.”

But he questioned if now equipping campaigns with security tools will “actually solve the problem, or if it just solves Facebook’s PR problem.”

Facebook — like other tech giants — has been under the microscope in recent years after the social networking giant failed to prevent foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election, in which adversaries — typically Russia — used the platform to spread disinformation.

The company’s done more to crack down on foreign interference campaigns after facing rebuke from lawmakers.

But ahead of the midterms, even the company’s former chief security officer was critical of Facebook. In an interview at Disrupt SF, Alex Stamos said that critical steps to protect the midterms hadn’t been taken in time.

“If there’s no foreign interference during the midterms, it’s not because we did a great job. It’s because our adversaries decided to [show] a little forbearance, which is unfortunate,” said Stamos.

Facebook, for its part, said its latest rollout of security tools “might be expanded to future elections and other users” beyond the midterms.

“Hacking is a part of elections,” said Reed. But with just two months to go before voters go to the polls, campaigns “have to just keep doing what they’re doing,” he said.