david thiel

David Thiel

  • Chief Technologist, Stanford Internet Observatory
  • Big Data Architect


David is the Big Data Architect and Chief Technologist of the Stanford Internet Observatory. Prior to Stanford, David worked at Facebook, primarily focusing on security and safety for Facebook Connectivity, a collection of projects aimed at providing faster and less expensive internet connectivity to unconnected or underconnected communities. Projects included the Terragraph mesh networking system, the Magma open source mobile network platform, Express Wi-Fi and Facebook Lite.

Before Facebook, David was a VP at iSEC Partners and later NCC Group, managing the North American security consulting and research team, as well as producing original security research, coordinating vulnerability disclosure and performing security assessments and penetration testing for companies across a wide range of business sectors.

David has spoken at various industry conferences, including Black Hat, DEFCON, PacSec and SOURCE Boston. He is also the author of iOS Application Security (No Starch Press) and coauthor of Mobile Application Security (McGraw-Hill).

In The News

three synthetically generated images of the same child, each less blurry than the previous, on a blue background showing the image code.

New report finds generative machine learning exacerbates online sexual exploitation

The Stanford Internet Observatory and Thorn find rapid advances in generative machine learning make it possible to create realistic imagery that is facilitating child sexual exploitation.
cover link New report finds generative machine learning exacerbates online sexual exploitation
Arrows pointing toward Middle Eastern and Asian countries

Unheard Voice

Stanford Internet Observatory collaborated with Graphika to analyze a large network of accounts removed from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in our latest report. This information operation likely originated in the United States and targeted a range of countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
cover link Unheard Voice
A graphic depiction of a face falling towards the ground on a red background overlayed with a black satellite dish and the word "takedown".

Mind Farce

An Investigation into an Inauthentic Facebook and Instagram Network Linked to an Israeli Public Relations Firm
cover link Mind Farce