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Alex Stamos is leaving Facebook after a tough year for the company. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Facebook's chief security officer, Alex Stamos, is leaving the company to teach and research at Stanford University.

Why it matters: While his exit was expected, it comes as the company is still grappling with the spread of political disinformation on its platform. Stamos, well respected in and out of the company, has been focusing on election security and was involved in yesterday's revelation of a new coordinated political disinformation campaign.

What he's saying: "It is critical that we as an industry live up to our collective responsibility to consider the impact of what we build, and I look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the security and safety teams at Facebook," he said on his Facebook profile. His last day at the company will be August 17.

The details:

  • Stamos has been a prominent voice at Facebook as it faced challenges over privacy and its effect on democracy. But his pushes for transparency around Russian election meddling reportedly brought him into conflict with others at the company and his day-to-day responsibilities were said to have been taken away.
  • "We need to listen to people (including internally) when they tell us a feature is creepy or point out a negative impact we are having in the world," he said, in a memo written after the New York Times reported in March that he would leave and published by BuzzFeed News last month. "We need to deprioritze short-term growth and revenue and to explain to Wall Street why that is ok. We need to be willing to pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues."

What they're saying: Facebook said it won't directly replace Stamos. "We are not naming a new CSO, since earlier this year we embedded our security engineers, analysts, investigators, and other specialists in our product and engineering teams to better address the emerging security threats we face," said a Facebook spokesperson. "We will continue to evaluate what kind of structure works best as we continue to invest heavily in security to protect people on our services."

Go deeper

State Department to set up new cyber bureau to combat hack attacks

Secretary of State Tony Blinken speaks on the challenges during an October conference in Quito, Ecuador. Photo:y Felipe Stanley/Agencia Press South/Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced Monday plans for the State Department to create a new bureau of cyberspace and digital policy.

Why it matters: The establishment of the bureau and plans for a new envoy to oversee critical and emerging technology come after a series significant hack attacks and other online crimes, notably ransomware assaults on U.S. infrastructure.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.