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Facebook offers funding to secure the internet

Facebook has announced that it is offering funding for research into ways of improving internet security

Facebook is offering grants of up to $100,000 to researchers at universities, non-profit organisations and non-governmental organisations to improve security online.

The social networking firm announced its Secure the Internet Grants initiative as part of its commitment to fund security research.

At Black Hat USA 2017, Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, announced the company would offer up to $1m to fund cyber defence research, or work to combat behaviour that puts users at risk.

Stamos said Facebook would contribute $500,000 in initial funding to a bipartisan initiative to defend US elections from cyber attack.

In this latest funding initiative, security researchers have until 30 March 2018 to submit a two-page proposal on how they could use the funding to “make a real impact” in helping secure the internet.

Facebook said research should focus on areas such as abuse detection and reporting, anti-phishing, authentication, privacy, security in emerging markets and user safety.

“Our goal is to spur development of technology that may be applied in practice, rather than pure research, in a wide range of topics,” the company said.

Winners of grants will be notified by 1 June, with the public announcement of winners to be made at Black Hat USA 2018 in Las Vegas in August.

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One person from each funded team is expected to attend the event to accept the grant, as well as attend a summit held in Facebook’s offices in 2019 to present and share their team’s work with Facebook and other researchers. Facebook said it will pay for travel to both events.

Successful applicants will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will be encouraged to publish any findings or insights from their work.

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