back to article Twitter whistleblower summoned to Senate Judiciary Committee

Former head of security at Twitter and whistleblower Peiter "Mudge" Zatko is scheduled to appear before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on September 13 to discuss allegations that his former employer made serious failures in protecting user data. Twitter has denied the allegations. The Senate Judiciary Committee naturally …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a false narrative"

    Hey look, fake news is back !

    But with a suit this time, because Trump ain't there any more.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: "a false narrative"

      It is possible the Twitter is being honest and accurate. Re-read the quote but with the assumption that the security and privacy situation is far worse than Zatko describes:

      Twitter claimed the complaint presented a "false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context,"

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge

        Re: "a false narrative"

        "It is possible the Twitter is being honest and accurate."

        A corporation that admits when they are wrong in this litigious society?

        (Best Dr. Evil) Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.....

        When an IT specialist with voluminous work experience says a corporation is deficient in many areas, I'd put my money on them. I've seen it far too often myself.

  2. MontyMole

    500,000 datacenters is a lot.

    1. ChoHag Bronze badge

      I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed this. What do they do with them all? Or is a single server a data centre now?

      And if that's the case, what do they do with them all?

  3. lnLog

    To convenient

    No fan of either twitter or musk, but the timing of this sounds far to convenient for musk

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: To convenient

      This all dates back to 2020 when Twitter got hacked and big accounts (like Musk's) were used to spam support for crypto scams. The aftermath was that Twitter's deal with the FTC included hiring Zatko to tighten security. Zatko got ignored and fired. He started blowing his whistle in January, long before Musk started buying lots of Twitter shares. It has just taken this long for the complaint to work its way through the legal system.

      If Musk had put a tiny bit of effort into finding an excuse not to buy Twitter then this would have been front and centre and not the rubbish about Twitter failing to provide the data needed to count 'bots.

  4. Cederic Silver badge


    Does the US not have an equivalent to the ICO (the UK Information Commissioner's Office) to examine data and consumer protection matters?

    It feels weird asking someone to come and talk to elected politicians; this is surely an executive matter not a legislative one?

    1. Jim Mitchell
      IT Angle

      Re: ICO

      In the US, almost everything is a "legislative matter". They can investigate and hold hearings on most any topic they desire. They might not have not have any actual effect, but not much stops them. Besides, each event is a chance to be on the national news. As they say, the most dangerous place in Washington is between a Congressman and a microphone.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: ICO

        Hypothetically speaking :

        It might be in the interest to some powerfull people that Twitter could easilly be read/manipulated.

        If such were the case and Zatko indeed has proof of what's going on there will be a lot of delicate situations that would hypothetically require immediate attention....

        Judging by the immediancy of the preceding I would surmize that Zatko does indeed have proof and that it will be very difficult to dicredit whatever he has.. This affair will undoubetdly lead to a thick black cloud over Twitters head concernign the Musk case.

        Heads are going to roll at Twitter in a very short period of time, they will have to sever the dragons head in order to save its tail...

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: ICO

          "Heads are going to roll at Twitter in a very short period of time, they will have to sever the dragons head in order to save its tail..."

          When power or the loss thereof is concerned, it's far more likely the tail will be severed to save the head.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: ICO

      ROFL if the USA had an ICO their job would be to give all your information to Facebook, Twitter, et al no questions asked!

  5. brett_x

    Mudge has been there before

    Mudge has appeared before congress before... In 1998. Interesting watch if you haven't seen it.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Mudge has been there before

      I agree, that was very interesting, especially since everyone behaved like adults... something we don't see much of these days...

      Zatko doesn't come accross as some kind of outsider; the entire team appeared to be very well educated and very clear about what they are doing... They could have chosen the Dark Side but didn't, that alone is a very powerful statement.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Mudge has been there before

        After watching that, I'd say Twitter threw themselves down the stairs - hitting their head on every rung on the way.

  6. iron Silver badge

    > Zatko also accused Twitter of delaying a fix for the entanglement of cookies, despite having a ready solution, in order to extract as much profit as possible.

    So he accused them of being a company?

    They are all able to stop using tracking cookies but they won't because they might not make as much money so you need to force them. Not by fining them 5 minutes of turnover, try imprisoning some CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and CSOs for a month and see how fast they fix their cookies.

  7. Alistair

    Corrections in line

    "false narrative about Twitter, and our privacy and data security practices that isare riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context," and told The Register Zatko was fired from his role at Twitter in January 2022 for "ineffective leadership and poor performance."

    Perhaps the last is simply that his poor performance was an inability to toe the corporate line, and the ineffective leadership was an inability to keep his underlings on the same line.

  8. LDS Silver badge

    the DPC by "meeting" with Twitter and CNIL by "investigating the complaint.

    My bet is CNIL will do something, the DPC will do nothing.

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