Twitter Whistleblower Testifies Before Congress

Photo: Reuters

The Facts

  • Former Twitter Security Chief Peiter "Mudge" Zatko — whose federal whistleblower complaint about the company was publicized last month — testified before the US Senate judiciary committee on Tues. as part of its investigation into alleged "egregious deficiencies" related to security.

  • According to Zatko, the week before he was fired in Jan., he learned the FBI had cautioned Twitter that an agent of China's Ministry of State Security — the country's main espionage agency —was on its payroll. He also claimed that some Twitter employees were worried about the potential for the Chinese govt. to gain access to user data.

The Spin

Narrative A

Not only does Zatko's testimony reveal how nefarious Twitter truly is, but it also alludes to an endemic problem within the entire tech industry. Twitter put profits over the privacy of its users, and very likely put the US's national security at risk. Twitter, along with many other social media platforms, is due for a complete overhaul.

Narrative B

Whatever Zatko's allegations, he's not the security chief any longer and is speaking on issues that he either has no updated knowledge of or were beyond the scope of his insight. Twitter users are protected by employee background checks, access controls, and monitoring systems, all of which Zatko refused to mention. While his claims should certainly be investigated, they should also be taken with a grain of salt.

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