Twitter is at the center of controversy in American politics. The complaint of its former security chief, Peiter Zatko, that the social network has weak data protection measures has generated concern among US officials, who indicate that these gaps represent a threat to their national security.
Yesterday, a document was released that Zatko filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), denouncing that Twitter hid negligent security practices, misled federal regulators about it and did not adequately estimate the number of bots that are in the network. platform.
He also mentioned that the social network’s executives did not understand the level of access that employees have regarding user data, in addition to suggesting that Twitter is vulnerable to espionage by foreign governments and some employees could be working for intelligence agencies of the United States. other countries.
“These allegations could have serious implications for national security, privacy and election security and should be aggressively investigated,” said Rep. Jon Katko, Republican of New York.
The official’s statements have found an echo in cybersecurity specialists in the United States, such as Jack Singh, a member of the cybersecurity team during Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and who considered the issue alarming, due to the importance of Twitter in the way in which people get informed and connect.
“If it is true, as Zatko alleges, that Twitter does not have structural controls in place to prevent or detect cybersecurity incidents from the variety of Internet threats, then Twitter is currently a much deeper security risk to the United States than might otherwise be possible. being TikTok,” Singh said.
Zatko, who was a notorious hacker before he joined Twitter, also said in his complaint that more than half of the social network’s 500,000 servers were running operating systems so outdated as to not support basic security and privacy features. .
Twitter defends itself, but lawmakers demand an investigation
After Zatko’s remarks became public, the company went on the defensive saying the details of the complaint were false and sensational, but did not counter specific issues.
“What we have seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context,” the company said.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal dismissed Zatko’s accusations, saying he was fired earlier this year for “ineffective leadership and poor performance,” but also detailed that his complaint is being reviewed and claims that Zatko himself “was responsible for many aspects of this work that it is now inaccurately portraying more than six months after its completion.”
However, the company has not been spared the scrutiny of US officials. Democratic senators, Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal, asked the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into Twitter for violating the 2011 agreements between the agency and the company in which it was ruled that the social network could not deceive users. about the privacy and security of your data.
“These troubling revelations paint a picture of a company that has consistently and repeatedly prioritized profits over the safety of its users and its responsibility to the public, as Twitter executives appeared to ignore and hamper efforts to address threats. threats,” Blumenthal said.