The Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, and it wasn’t what Musk was hoping for.
- Today, former Twitter security exec turned whistleblower Peiter Zatko testified against the social-media company.
- In the testimony, Zatko shared his view of a Twitter culture that prioritizes growth over security and exclusively seeks out short-term fixes to problems, and where only positive news is reported to executives and the board, according to Bloomberg.
- He went on to say that the company would have a hard time identifying hackers infiltrating the company and those people could potentially gain access to user data.
- Zatko said that Twitter overall is very relaxed when it comes to security and that attitude starts at the top with high up executives.
- Unfortunately for Elon Musk, there was very little to no mention of fake accounts and bots on the platform which is his main reason for attempting to abandon his deal to buy the company.
Why it’s news
The battle between Twitter and Elon Musk has been in the headlines for a while now and this testimony inched it closer to the finish line.
For months, Elon Musk has attempted to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter due to the platform having too many fake accounts and the company giving misleading data about itself.
Many thought that this testimony could be the key aspect that Musk needed to win the case over.
While Zatko’s’ talk of negative security aspects was certainly good for Musk’s case, what he really needed was for him to discuss the fake accounts and bots that Musk has been alleging for months.
Backing up a bit
The timeline between Elon Musk and Twitter is a lengthy one.
In April, Elon Musk announced that he held a 9.2% stake in Twitter, which made him the social-media company’s largest shareholder. Twitter’s stock price soared 25% after the announcement.
Later that month, the billionaire entrepreneur offered to buy all of Twitter at $54.20 per share—equaling about $44 billion. He said he originally invested in the platform because he believes it is failing in its potential to be the leading platform for free speech around the globe. In fact, he asked his 2 million followers if Twitter adhered to principles of free speech, and 70% said “no.”
Last month, Musk decided to back out of the deal, claiming there were too many fake accounts on the platform. Twitter has since sued Musk in Delaware Court of Chancery to complete the deal and requested the trial to take place in September. Musk, on the other hand, wanted to delay the trial until February 2023, stating that a case of this size takes time to prepare. Twitter was granted its wish of an expedited trial, with Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, the presiding judge, setting a five-day trial for October.
Musk then countersued Twitter, stating his reason for the termination was due to Twitter not being upfront about the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Then, Elon Musk and his legal team subpoenaed Twitter’s founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, to get him to release documents that provide accurate information on bots and spam accounts on the social-media platform and now these documents have come out from Zatko and Musk and his lawyers have subpoenaed him as well.
Last week, it was revealed that Twitter paid Zatko millions in hush money.
The big trial is set for October, unless it can be settled before that date approaches.