Twitter whistleblower to testify in Congress over security disclosure

Twitter’s former security chief Peter “Muge” Zatko will testify in Congress next month after he went public with serious allegations about the social media company’s security practices and attempts to mislead regulators. Washington Post Report. Jatko is due to speak at a hearing on September 13 and is expected to address the privacy and national security concerns raised in his complaint.

“Mr. Zatko’s allegations of widespread security failures and foreign state actor interference on Twitter are of grave concern,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and the committee’s top Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said. ) in a joint statement, ,If these claims are true, they could pose a dangerous data privacy and security risk to Twitter users around the world.”

Jatko has already met privately with Judiciary Committee staff, and held three meetings on Capitol Hill, according to Washington Post Report.

Jatco’s complaint has also drawn scrutiny from European data protection regulators, techcrunch Report. The complaint claims that, if EU regulators had inquired about Twitter’s security practices, the company would have attempted to mislead them in the same way it misled the FTC. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which leads the enforcement of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for Twitter due to the location of the tech company’s EU headquarters, said it was “on Twitter” on the issues raised in the whistleblower complaint. attached to”.

Meanwhile, France’s data watchdog, CNIL told techcrunch That it is “currently investigating” the claims made in Jatco’s complaint, and that if Twitter is found to be in violation of the law, its investigation could lead to a “compliance order or sanction”. techcrunch Notes that it is unclear what sanctions Twitter could face in the EU, but the GDPR allows fines of up to 4 percent of the company’s global annual turnover, depending on the severity of the violation.

Twitter declined to comment Washington Post on news of the hearing, and a representative for the company did not immediately respond. ledgeComment request. But in an internal memo sent out after the revelations became public, Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal said the claims are “a false narrative that is full of inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and presented without significant context”.

“Mr. Zatko was fired from his senior executive role at Twitter six months ago for poor performance and ineffective leadership,” a company spokesperson told CNN When the allegations became public. “Mr. Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear to be designed to draw attention to and harm Twitter, its customers and its shareholders.”

Jatco, who was fired by Twitter in January soon after Agarwal took over as CEO, made several damaging claims about security lapses at the company in a complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month. Specifically, he says the company violated an agreement it made with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2009 to maintain various security measures after a pair of security incidents.

The former security chief also alleged that Twitter’s approach to measuring the number of bots on its platform is misleading, which, if true, would debunk its claims that less than 5 percent of its monthly users have bots, fake accounts. or spam. The figure has proved crucial in Twitter’s ongoing legal battle with Elon Musk, after the Tesla CEO pulled out of his agreement to buy the social media network over a dispute over the number of bots on its platform.

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