Facebook: Private Cyber Security Firms Must Help Poor

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Facebook Inc’s new security chief, Alex Stamos, wants to secure the Internet for all emerging market users and not just for the elite “1 percent.” To make this possible, Stamos has urged the Internet industry to come forward and develop cyber security defenses, according to the Financial Times.

Facebook: Private Cyber Security Firms Must Help Poor

Cybersecurity firms only catering to rich users

Stamos, who is a former security executive at Yahoo, is known for his sharp criticism of the U.S. National Security Agency. He wants to develop security solutions for common users who are not able to access the most modern technology.

During the Def Con Cyber Security conference in Las Vegas, Stamos said that to protect their users globally, Facebook or other internet firms can’t fully depend on the security industry. “We can’t say you are only safe if you are on the latest phone in a country with a great human rights record,” Stamos said.

Private firms are mostly responsible for controlling hacking, in contrast to offline criminals who are the main focus of the enforcement agencies. Wealthy customers such as bankers are the main target for private sector companies instead of ordinary customers in emerging countries.

Despite the fact that we have many new cyber security start-ups today, nearly all are focusing on the needs of the West, noted Stamos. “It makes sense for them to sell for people with money,” the executive said.

Securing Internet.org vital for Facebook

Facebook’s Internet.org aims to connect the two-thirds of the world’s population who are not yet online with the internet services. For this, Facebook is using different apps which allows users Internet access and to get the basic knowledge they need, and the social networker is not charging any fee for these services. Drones and lasers are also being tested to bring remote areas in every corner of the world within the reach of the Internet.

Stamos, who has just been with Facebook for six weeks, said making Internet.org secure is the highest priority for Facebook and its partners. Citing an example, he noted millions of people in developing countries use an unauthorized version of the Android OS, which makes them an easy prey for cyber criminals.

While working at Yahoo, Stamos led the efforts to add an option for strong end-to-end encryption to Yahoo Mail, as he believed encryption could help secure users from government surveillance such as from NSA.

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