Lawmakers Investigating Twitter Whistleblower’s Explosive Claims

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Congressional lawmakers are probing allegations made by Twitter’s former chief of security in an explosive whistleblower complaint that includes claims of deception related to data security and privacy and misleading tech entrepreneur Elon Musk about the number of bots on the platform.

Peiter Zatko, the whistleblower who served as Twitter’s head of security for about 14 months before being fired earlier this year, asserted in a disclosure obtained by The Epoch Times that Twitter’s security and privacy systems were grossly inadequate and that the company misled regulators, investors, and Musk about fake “spam” bots on the platform.

While Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has called Zatko’s claims a “false narrative,” U.S. lawmakers appear determined to make up their own minds and are investigating.

‘Serious Concerns’

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that he is looking into Zatko’s allegations.

“The whistleblower’s allegations of widespread security failures at Twitter, willful misrepresentations by top executives to government agencies, and penetration of the company by foreign intelligence raise serious concerns,” he said.

“As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will continue investigating this issue and take further steps as needed to get to the bottom of these alarming allegations,” he said, adding that if the whistleblower’s claims are accurate, there may be “dangerous” risks for Twitter users in terms of data privacy and security.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter (pdf) to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice expressing “significant concerns” about the whistleblower’s allegations.

“According to Peiter Zatko, Twitter’s former head of security, Twitter has systematically and repeatedly failed to take basic security measures to protect its user data and has misled investors, regulators, and the public about the strength of its security systems,” Markey said in a statement.

By Tom Ozimek

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