Facebook Hires Yahoo’s Information Security Officer

Facebook Hires Yahoo’s Information Security Officer

Tech companies ask users to put a lot of faith in the security of their products — and Facebook has poached Yahoo’s chief information security officer to help keep that faith.

Alex Stamos said in a Facebook post that he would start his new gig as the company’s chief security officer last week.

“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,” Stamos said in the post. “These benefits are not without risk, and it is the responsibility of our industry to build the safest, most trustworthy products possible.”

The theme of trustworthiness defined Stamos’ tenure at Yahoo, where he helped oversee something of a cybersecurity turnaround over the past year as the tech industry recovered from revelations about the U.S. government’s digital spying capabilities.

Stamos was outspoken about protecting users from all security threats, including governments — even going head to head with the director of the National Security Agency earlier this year over proposals that would make tech companies build into their products ways for law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to access secured communications.

Stamos, 36, was also the face of a project at Yahoo that would expand access to that kind of security: A planned Yahoo Mail plug-in that would allow users to protect e-mails with end-to-end encryption, meaning that only the sender and the recipient — and not their e-mail services — would be able to see the contents of messages. (Google announced a similar project first, and the plan is for the plug-ins will be compatible so Gmail and Yahoo Mail users will be able to send each other secured messages.)

Colin Stretch, Facebook’s vice president and general counsel, said that Stamos “is a leader with deep technical security knowledge and experience. We’re thrilled that he is joining Facebook as our new Chief Security Officer to help us create even greater impact.”

A Yahoo spokesperson said Ramses Martinez, a senior director on its security team, is serving as the company’s interim chief information security officer.

Facebook has been without a chief security officer since April, when Uber hired away Joe Sullivan to run its security shop.

Author: Andrea Peterson The Washington Post

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