Maria Montero

The former executive says Facebook wasn’t alone in the …

Without acquitting From Facebook “mistakes” in the way he handled Russian trolls before the 2016 United States Presidential Elections, a former head of security for the social network has said that others, US spy agencies, lawmakers and the media, also made mistakes.

Facebook has been under scrutiny by US lawmakers ever since the activities of accounts linked to Russia that attempted to spread misinformation and sow seeds of discord became known.

Alex Stamos, Facebook Security Director. Image: Reuters

Sharing your side of the story in a Washington Post opinion piece on Saturday, Alex Stamos, who served as head of security at Facebook until August, admitted that Facebook “should have responded to these threats much earlier and handled the disclosure in a more transparent manner.”

Their opinions appeared three days after a New York Times report It said Facebook was aware of Russian activities in the spring of 2016, a claim rejected by the social media giant.

The times report also blamed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl sandberg of ignoring warning signs and then trying to hide them from public view.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, attends a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) during the “Choose France” summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on January 22 from 2018. REUTERS / Thibault Camus / Pool – RC14861EF240

Stamos agreed that Facebook “followed a strategy of minimizing and denying public communications.”

But he also blamed US spy agencies for their inability to “provide actionable intelligence” to Russian trolls.

“The massive US intelligence community did not provide actionable intelligence on Russia’s information warfare objectives and capabilities before the election and then offered a dearth of assistance,” Stamos wrote.

Stamos criticized lawmakers for their “inability to establish facts, effectively supervise the executive branch, and provide the common defense.

“We must also remember that in the summer of 2016, hackers from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) were rewarded by all major media outlets with thousands of collective stories gleaned from stolen emails from prominent Democrats,” he wrote.

Stamos said no one at Facebook had ever told him not to examine Russian activity, nor did anyone attempt to lie about the company’s findings.