Network Security

Facebook to fund election protection initiative

Facebook CSO Alex Stamos said his company would sink $500,000 into the Defending Digital Democracy Project, which aims, among other things, to develop threat-sharing operations.

After calling on the security community to "broaden what we consider our responsibility" and noting "the attempts at outside influence on elections," Stamos said Facebook decided to throw its support behind the Defending Digital Democracy (DDD) project initiated by the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center and led by Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager, Robby Mook, and his counterpart in Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, Matt Rhoades. 

The initiative "aims to identify and recommend strategies, tools, and technology to protect democratic processes and systems from cyber and information attacks," according to a Belfer Center release when the project was announced recently. "By creating a unique and bipartisan team comprised of top-notch political operatives and leaders in the cyber and national security world, DDD intends to offer concrete solutions to an urgent problem."

Among the goals of the project: to give those involved in elections "'playbooks to improve their cybersecurity" and develop a threat-sharing organization. 

The latter, an Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO), in particular has piqued Facebook's interest, Stamos said. 

In a wide-ranging keynote address at Black Hat 2017 that touched on diversity in the cyber workforce and expanding obligations of the security community, Stamos urged attendees to "build relationships between security and developers" and get better at "engaging on a global level."

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