Twitter whistleblower to meet with Senate panel Sept. 13

People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pembel/Illustration/

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WASHINGTON, Aug 24 (Reuters) – The US Senate Judiciary committee will hold a hearing on Sept. 13 with Twitter Inc’s (TWTR.N) former Peiter “Mudge” Zatko to discuss security chiefs from his whistleblower complaint that the social media company misled regulators.

Zatko, who accused Twitter of falsely claiming it had a solid security plan and making misleading statements about its defenses against hackers and spam accounts, has already discussed his complaint with staffs of the chair and ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to a spokesperson for Zatko.

In an 84-page complaint, Zatko, a fame hacker widely known as “Mudge,” made numerous claims and alleged Twitter prioritized user growth over reducing spam, with executives eligible to win individual bonuses of as much as $10 million tied to increases in daily users, and nothing explicitly for cutting spam, according to documents relayed by congressional investigators. read more

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Twitter has labeled the complaint a “false narrative.” read more

“The Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate this issue further with a full committee hearing this work period, and take further steps as needed to get to the bottom of these alarming claims,” ​​said committee chair Senator Richard Durbin and top Republican member Senator Chuck Grassley.

Staffers with Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee also met Zatko this week.

Blumenthal has a keen interest in Big Tech and wrote in a letter to Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan: “According to disclosures and evidence served provided by Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko, a highly-respected cybersecurity expert who as Twitter’s Security Lead from 2020 to 2022, Twitter executives allegedly failed to address significant security vulnerabilities, neglected the mishandling of personal data, and ignored known privacy risks to users for more than a decade.”

Blumenthal called for an FTC investigation in the letter.

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Reporting by Chris Sanders and Raphael Satter in Washington Editing by Howard Goller and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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