Facebook's former security chief says election security is still vulnerable

Election security has not improved since 2016, and the midterms will not be trustworthy.

US will be in a “pretty bad place” if foreign interference continues in the next few elections, according to Facebook’s former chief security officer Alex Stamos. Stamos left the company to on 17 August to join Stanford University as a full-time teacher and researcher.

We already know that Facebook's reputation has been under attack over Russia's alleged use of Facebook tools to sway US voters with divisive and false news posts before and after the 2016 election. Stamos had been strongly advocating for investigating and disclosing Russian activity on the social media platform.

Facebooks former security chief says election security is still vulnerable

Alex Stamos, former Chief Security Officer for Facebook. Image: Reuters

In an interview with TechCrunch on 6 September, Stamos said that “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.”

The infrastructure for security campaigns and elections in the US have not improved since 2016, and the midterm elections which is just two months away will see some trouble. “As a society, we have not responded to the 2016 election in the way that would’ve been necessary to have a more trustworthy midterm,” he says. While there have been some good changes in the system, the overall election security still remains vulnerable.

He is convinced that, while the foreign interference cannot directly alter election results, they can most certainly mess up the entire electoral process, putting it into further question.

Recently, he wrote a post on how the US has already failed to protect the 2018 elections and that the company is not prepared for it. He did, however, mention that the there are a couple of ways to possibly improve the security for the presidential elections in 2020.

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