Twitter hired an Indian Govt agent who had access to all user data, says former security chief | Tech News

Twitter hired an Indian Govt agent who had access to all user data, says former security chief

Former Twitter security chief Peiter Mudge Zatko alleges that the company had hired an Indian government agent and given him unfiltered access to data.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 24 2022, 09:14 IST
As Elon Musk bullies Vijaya Gadde at Twitter, Parag Agrawal, Dick Costolo react
Twitter
1/5 Just a day after his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was announced, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticized Twitter’s way of working and targeted the company’s legal chief Vijaya Gadde through several tweets. (REUTERS)
Twitter
2/5 Musk criticized Twitter’s algorithm of blocking certain personalities on the social media platform and limiting the spread of information. However, it seems that the company’s CEO Parag Agrawal has his employees’ back. (REUTERS)
Twitter
3/5 Agrawal praised the work of his employees and appreciated them working hard despite the “noise”, referring to Musk’s tweets, albeit in a subtle manner. Musk’s tweets have had a public reaction, resulting in several racial slurs directed at Vijaya Gadde (REUTERS)
Twitter
4/5 Parag Agrawal tweeted, “I took this job to change Twitter for the better, course correct where we need to, and strengthen the service. Proud of our people who continue to do the work with focus and urgency despite the noise.” (AFP)
Twitter
5/5 Meanwhile, it seems that former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has also jumped to Vijaya Gadde’s defence. He replied to Musk’s tweet directly, “what's going on? You're making an executive at the company you just bought the target of harassment and threats.” Costolo later tweeted that “Bullying is not leadership”. (REUTERS)
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Ex Twitter security chief alleges the company hired an Indian government agent a few years ago. (AP)

Controversies surrounding Twitter keep unfolding every few days and the latest one is rather a shocker. Former Twitter security chief Peiter Mudge Zatko, who was recently fired by Twitter's Parag Agarwal, has filed a new whistleblower report that makes some wild claims. Zatko in his report now claims that the Indian government had forced Twitter to hire an agent and give the person access to all user data.

In a report by The Washington Post that talks about the allegations made by Zatko, it is said that, “Zatko's complaint says he believed the Indian government had forced Twitter to put one of its agents on the payroll, with access to user data at a time of intense protests in the country." Adding to that, another Twitter employee says that the employee was probably an agent.

Twitter hired an Indian Govt agent?

The report also says that Zatko had found significant issues with the way Twitter stores and manages its user data. He had suggested several ways to fix problems related to data security, misinformation and spam, but Twitter wasn't interested in fixing them. Instead, the company's prime focus was to increase the user count regardless of the cost.

After this report came online, Twitter responded to the allegations. “Mr Zatko was fired from his senior executive role at Twitter in January 2022 for ineffective leadership and poor performance. What we've 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. Mr. Zatko's allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be,” said Twitter.

These allegations come at a time when Twitter is already in the middle of a legal battle that involves Tesla chief Elon Musk. Musk had accused Twitter of hiding its bots and spam, and had terminated the agreement to buy the company entirely. Twitter later sued him and the trial is set to start soon.

 

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First Published Date: 24 Aug, 09:14 IST
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