Facebook CSO Takes Job at Stanford

Facebook’s outspoken CSO Alex Stamos has announced he has accepted a role at Stanford University and will leave the firm later this month.

The former Yahoo CSO’s last day at the social network will be August 17, and he will join the university as full-time teacher and researcher from September.

“I have had the pleasure of lecturing at Stanford for several years, and now I will have the honor of guiding new generations of students as an adjunct professor at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies,” he explained in a Facebook update.

“This fall, I am very excited to launch a course teaching hands-on offensive and defensive techniques and to contribute to the new cybersecurity master's specialty at FSI. I am also looking forward to other opportunities to contribute to Stanford's focus on ethically designing and implementing new technologies.”

It had been reported that Stamos fell out with his superiors after advocating a more transparent line on Russian manipulation of the site ahead of the 2016 US election.

While at Yahoo, Stamos also clashed with NSA boss Mike Rogers on government requests that tech firms effectively build crypto-backdoors into their products. He resigned from his role at the internet pioneer after reportedly finding out Yahoo had built scanning software to comply with classified government demands for customer data.

There will be question marks over his successor at Facebook. Whoever takes the role will have a major task continuing to build trust in the company.

Just this week the social network took some early steps on that journey by announcing the shut down of a handful of fake accounts and pages linked to the infamous Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), blamed for much of the pre-2016 election interference on social media.

So far there’s no word on who will step into Stamos’ shoes but Facebook will want to avoid the kind of three-month gap that preceded his arrival at such a crucial juncture for the firm, if nothing else to reassure investors of its commitment to improving security.

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