Twitter Employees Saved Musk from Breaching US Government Confidentiality Agreement

Twitter Security Staff Prevent Elon Musk From Violating User Privacy Agreement

In 2022, Tesla CEO Elon Musk nearly caused Twitter — now named X — to violate a user privacy agreement set by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to a letter sent to the FTC by the House of Representatives, reports Bloomberg.

Twitter’s Agreement With the FTC

In May 2022, the FTC fined Twitter $150 million and reached an agreement making Twitter develop a user privacy program. Later that year, in October, Musk became the owner and head of the social media platform, vowing to protect free speech. He also aimed to prove that the former Twitter executives were bias against users who expressed a specific political leaning.

“The Twitter Files”

This led to the emergence of “The Twitter Files,” which was a series of reports revealing the internal workings of the social media network. Reporters analyzed instances when Twitter staff contemplated removing former President Donald Trump’s account and handled user accounts accused of spreading disinformation.

FTC Investigation

In September 2022, even before Musk took over, FTC initiated an investigation of Twitter after ex-Director of Cybersecurity, Pieter Zatko, revealed the platform’s worrying state of security. Under Musk’s management, the investigation expanded to include the changes implemented on the platform.

Musk’s Risky Decision

Musk’s controversial decision to give journalists unlimited access to original documents referred to as “The Twitter Files” was rejected by former Twitter security director Andrew Sayler and cybersecurity head Seth Wilson. Showing these documents would violate Twitter’s agreement with the FTC, hence the executives established a safer alternative to assist journalists without exposing user information.

Further Security Concerns

Sayler, who left Twitter in December, also stated that Musk failed to heed warnings about the paid user verification system’s security, which led to an influx of fake accounts.

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