Facebook has a new Chief Security Officer, replacing Joe Sullivan who left (presumably in a cab) for Uber three months ago.
Sullivan’s replacement is Alex Stamos, a highly-regarded industry figure who was previously helping Yahoo improve its blemished record when it came to all things security and privacy.
Alex announced his move, appropriately enough, on Facebook:
I am very happy to announce that I will be joining Facebook as their Chief Security Officer next Monday.
The Internet has been an incredible force for connecting the world and giving individuals access to personal, educational and economic opportunities that are unprecedented in human history. These benefits are not without risk, and it is the responsibility of our industry to build the safest, most trustworthy products possible.
This is why I am joining Facebook. There is no company in the world that is better positioned to tackle the challenges faced not only by today’s Internet users but for the remaining 2/3rds of humanity we have yet to connect. The Facebook security team has demonstrated a history of innovation as well as a unique willingness to share those innovations with the world, and we will build upon that history in the years to come.
I had a wonderful time at Yahoo and learned that the Yahoo Paranoids truly live up to their legend. Their commitment, brilliance, drive and pioneering spirit made it a pleasure to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Careers are long, and I hope our paths will cross often in the future. I wish all my friends at Yahoo the very best.
Why should you care about this?
Well, Facebook is becoming an ever-more important part of the internet, and decisions it makes regarding the privacy and protection of its billion-plus users not only impact those who have an account on the social network, but also influences the way that other sites behave.
There’s the potential to do a lot of good at Facebook, which can benefit everyone on the net.
Stamos, for instance, has publicly taken the NSA to task over “encryption backdoors”.
With other recent initiatives such as Facebook offering PGP-encrypted notification emails, one feels that the service is maturing from the days when its leader used to describe its users as “dumb fucks”
I get the feeling that Stamos cares deeply about internet privacy, and that has to be a good voice to have high up inside Facebook.
Let’s hope that it works out, for all our sakes.
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