Ex-Facebook security boss: U.S. elections risk becoming ‘World Cup of information warfare’
After three years in the trenches of Facebook’s war against disinformation, Alex Stamos brings bad news from the front: US elections are at risk of becoming the “World Cup of information warfare.”
“That campaign to drive wedges into American society has not stopped. If anything, it has intensified,” Stamos told CNN recently.
Stamos is not an alarmist. He has spent the better part of the past two decades in the digital security business, most recently as the head of information security at Facebook. Before that, he spent a few years at Yahoo — where, among other things, he warned US lawmakers about the impact of online advertising on data security and privacy. He has over the years earned a reputation for speaking his mind, and at one point challenged Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency at the time, on the finer points of data encryption.
His warning comes as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and other tech leaders are set to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel, led by Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner, wants to know just what Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others are doing to safeguard November’s midterm elections against the sort of disinformation campaigns that peppered their platforms in 2016.
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