The former Twitter security chief, Peiter Zatko, testified before Congress Tuesday. Zatko became a whistleblower accusing Twitter of negligence with cybersecurity and privacy. He also claims Twitter violated the terms of a 2011 FTC settlement when it falsely claimed more robust measures were in place to protect user security and privacy. In addition, Zatko said the company was deceptive in accounting for spam or fake accounts. Making Zatko’s testimony a potential key to Musk’s bid to terminate his Twitter purchase agreement.

Musk also accused Twitter of failing to provide accurate numbers regarding spam and bot accounts and cited this as a reason to back out of a Twitter acquisition deal. Further, the Delaware judge overseeing the Musk- Twitter case has agreed to let Musk include new evidence from Zatko’s allegations in the trial, which is set to begin on Oct. 17.

While testifying on Twitter security issues, Zatko told Senator Josh Hawley that over 4000 Twitter employees had access to user data.


Zatko’s reputation in cybersecurity gives his complaints credibility. He testified that Twitter employees could, in 10 minutes, tell him a user’s location, home address, phone number, and presence on other social media platforms.

During his testimony, Zatko warned that an employee at Twitter could take over all the senators’ accounts in the room. However, he added that the security risks necessitated him being willing to become a whistleblower despite the personal and professional risks.

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