Coming as it does after a series of bigger and bigger scandals over data leaks from Facebook, Zuckerberg's statement has provoked a great deal of cynicism. But Stamos's criticism (?) was the best: he compared Zuckerberg's great revelation to the announcement made by Microsoft in 2002 that it was launching a Trustworthy Computing Initiative.
I have often compared the current trust moment to the security moment in the early 2000s, where Microsoft led the industry by turning their entire product development model upside down.— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) March 7, 2019
For this to work for FB, the changes will have to be as intense as Steven accomplished. https://t.co/sFiQxi8VPB
Stamos responded to a tweet posted by Steven Sinofsky, who last worked for Microsoft on the Windows 8 project and then was unceremoniously shown the door.
Sinofsky, who appears to be still drinking the Microsoft Kool-Aid, wrote: "Facebook is having a 'trustworthy computing' moment and that is fantastic. When we see a large and hyper growth business make big step-function strategy changes it’s super cool (eg mobile). Always a good reminder that founder/CEOs proactively make necessary bold changes."
"For this to work for FB, the changes will have to be as intense as Steven [Sinofsky] accomplished."
When Microsoft announced its Trustworthy Computing Initiative in 2002, it trademarked the term, published a paper about and generally led many trusting souls to believe that the company would be taking steps to improve the abysmal security of its products.
The years 2000 and 2001 were horror years for Microsoft, with one worm after another affecting one product or the other and users taking a beating as the malware wreaked havoc. (Who can forget Code Red?)
But nothing changed. Even today, for all the bizspeak that emanates from Redmond — and all the time that Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella spends avoiding mentioning Windows and its accompanying orchestra: malware, ransomware, adware, scumware, pornware etc, — security is a second-level issue. Marketing comes first.
One simple point to illustrate this: When you log in to a fresh installation of Windows 10, you are still creating an administrator account, not a user account. That simple bit of digital hygiene has still not been fixed. Microsoft and security walks different streets.
But back to Stamos. Did he send this tweet thread with tongue firmly planted in cheek? I think he did, judging by his final tweet which is given below:
The most important question: what will be Facebook's version of Vista and the UAC escalation prompt? pic.twitter.com/6MVVHBadgn— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) March 7, 2019
Windows Vista was a major disaster for Microsoft and anyone who cites features from that avatar of Windows as being a model for others to follow must surely be joking.
But then given some of Stamos' past statements, it is difficult to say for sure.