Yahoo appoints Alex Stamos as Chief Information Security Officer

Yahoo has made an interesting choice for its new Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), following the departure of Justin Somaini in early 2013 (yes – the position has been vacant for over a year).

The new incumbent is Alex Stamos, formerly CTO of security firm Artemis (and a co-founder of iSEC Partners). He’s an interesting choice because he has spoken out against the tendrils of NSA surveillance, and the like, in the past.

Stamos was involved in putting the recent TrustyCon together, a security conference which met last month to discuss “the technical, legal and ethical underpinnings of a stronger social contract between users and technology.”

Jay Rossiter, SVP of Platforms & Personalisation Products at Yahoo, posted on the company blog to welcome Stamos: “At Yahoo, we’re focused on having the absolute best talent in place to provide our users with outstanding product experiences. Part of that experience is the trust that consumers put in us to keep their personal data secure. This trust is critical to our brand and is critical to our commitment to the hundreds of millions of users who make our products part of their daily habits. That’s why I’m thrilled to welcome Alex Stamos to Yahoo as our new VP of Information Security (CISO) reporting directly to me.”

Clearly, Yahoo is aiming to get some brownie points on the trust and anti-surveillance front – but to be honest, all power to them in doing so.

Rossiter went on to add that Stamos will cover all aspects of security, leading a team of “Yahoo Paranoids” (tin foil hats are presumably standard issue) and making all of Yahoo’s services as secure as possible.