Elon Musk Says US Government ‘Had Full Access’ to Private Twitter DMs

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Twitter CEO Elon Musk said he was stunned after learning that the U.S. government had “full access” to users’ private direct messages (DMs).

Musk, who took over Twitter in October last year in a $44 billion deal, made the comments in a recent interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, which is due to air on Monday night.

“The degree to which various government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on at Twitter blew my mind,” Musk said in a preview clip released on Twitter on April 16. “I was not aware of that.”

The 14-second clip ends with Carlson asking Musk, “Would that include people’s DMs?”

“Yes,” Musk said in response.

A separate preview clip was released a few days earlier, in which Musk tells Carlson that he believes artificial intelligence has the potential to destroy civilizations.

“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production in the sense that it has the potential—however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial—it has the potential of civilizational destruction.”

Musk’s Tucker Carlson Tonight interview is set to air in two parts on April 17 and 18. Other topics he will address include his future plans for the social media platform.

Musk’s appearance on Fox comes as big tech platforms have come under scrutiny for bias and manipulation. Beginning in December last year, Musk has released many internal Twitter documents, collectively known as the “Twitter Files,” showing how the social media giant handled a number of controversial content-moderation decisions.

One batch of Twitter Files exposed Twitter’s efforts to suppress the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, which was published just weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Another batch revealed the role the FBI played in discrediting articles about the laptop and its contents.

A February hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, in which several former Twitter officials testified, failed to establish collusion between Twitter and the FBI in blocking the laptop story.

By Frank Fang

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