The logo for the social media company Twitter is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 25. The company former security head said the company violated a Federal Trade Commission agreement in reports on Monday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 23 (UPI) — A Twitter whistleblower has disclosed to Congress and federal agencies that cybersecurity problems at the social media giant leave its users vulnerable, according to reports.
CNN, Time and the Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the disclosures made by the whistleblower had been in hands of federal investigators and lawmakers since last month, describing a careless environment where the platform’s central controls are left in the hands of too many staff members with little oversight.
The charges come on the heels of billionaire Elon Musk walking away from a $44 billion deal to purchase the company, complaining that Twitter refused to be transparent about bots dominating the social media site.
The former head of Twitter security Peiter Zatko described Twitter as a chaotic company marred by infighting and incapable of protecting its 238 million daily users including government agencies, heads of state and other influential public figures.
Zatko accused Twitter of violating a decade-old agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, saying it lied about its security plan. He said he constantly complained that 50% of its servers were outdated while the company leaders were not upfront about breaches and protection of data.
Twitter told CNN it fired Zatko in January for “ineffective leadership and poor performance.” Zatko’s attorney John Tye said his client’s whistleblowing efforts started before Musk was interested in Twitter and had not been in touch with him.
“What we’ve seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lack important context,” Twitter said, according to CNN.
“Mr. Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be.”
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