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A Twitter whistleblower exposes security flaws in the US Congress.

Twitter’s former security chief and now whistleblower spokesman told the US Congress today that the social network has weak cyber defenses that put its users’ privacy at risk.

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Peiter Zatko, a respected cyber security expert, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee today to make a statement.

“I’m here today because Twitter’s management is misleading the public, Congressmen, regulators, and even their own board of directors,” Zatko began by saying.

“They don’t know what data they have, where they live, or where it came from, and so, unsurprisingly, they can’t protect it.” “It doesn’t matter who has the keys if there were no locks,” he pointed out.

Zatko said that “the Twitter leadership ignored its engineers” in part because “their executive incentives led them to prioritize profit over security.”

The expert was head of security for that social network until he was fired in early 2022.

In July, he filed a complaint with the US Congress, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Among the charges is that Twitter violated the terms of a 2011 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement by falsely claiming that it had adopted stronger measures to protect the security and privacy of its users.

Ztako also noted that “basic systemic flaws” were presented by engineers at the company but were not addressed.

The FTC has been “in over its head” and far behind its European counterparts in policing the kind of privacy breach that occurred at Twitter, the 51-year-old said.

Zatko’s allegations could also affect Tesla owner Elon Musk‘s attempt to drop his $44 billion (about €44 billion) bid to buy the social network.

Musk claims Twitter underreports spam “bots” and cites this as a reason to scrap the deal as of April this year.

Many of Zatko’s claims are not corroborated and appear to have little documentary support.

Twitter deemed Zatko’s description “a false narrative… replete with inconsistencies and inaccuracies” and lacking important context.

Musk may include new evidence related to Zatko’s allegations in the high-stakes trial, which is due to begin on October 17.

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