During a Senate hearing on Tuesday that included evidence from the whistleblower, Senator Chuck Grassley said that revelations from a former Twitter Inc executive turned whistleblower show that at least one Chinese spy is employed by the business.
During the hearing, Peter “Mudge” Zatko, a well-known hacker who oversaw security at Twitter until he was fired last year, revealed that several staff members were worried the Chinese government could be able to gather information on the company’s users.
He cited a Reuters report from Tuesday that described internal conflicts between certain teams looking to exploit the possibility to earn advertising income from Chinese advertisers and others who were wary of conducting business within China due to escalating geopolitical concerns.
In essence, Zatko remarked, “If we were in bed, it would be difficult if we lost that money source.
In his opening remarks, Grassley said that “His disclosures also reveal that the FBI informed Twitter about at least one Chinese spy in the firm.”
Grassley said that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal declined to attend the session out of concern that doing so may endanger the company’s legal action against Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Next month, a trial between Twitter and Musk will determine if the $44 billion acquisition should go forward.
Twitter will also reveal the outcome of the shareholder vote on Musk’s proposed acquisition of the business later on Tuesday. Reuters was informed by sources that a majority of shareholders had already authorized the merger.
The San Francisco-based firm filed a lawsuit against Musk for ending the contract, but the Tesla CEO filed a counterclaim, accusing Twitter of exaggerating the number of phony and spam accounts utilizing its site.
Last Monday, a Delaware judge said that Musk may use Zatko’s whistleblower allegations against Twitter in his lawsuit, but the judge dismissed his plea to postpone the trial.
With regard to his allegations that Twitter deceived authorities regarding its compliance with a 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for unlawful treatment of user data, Zatko is being questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
According to Zatko’s complaint submitted to authorities in July, Twitter has since made “no real progress on basic security, integrity, and privacy mechanisms.”
Zatko is anticipated to face questions from the committee, which is presided by U.S. Senator Dick Durban, about his claim that one or more Twitter workers worked for foreign governments.
The charges made by Zatko, according to Durbin, are “a matter of significant personal and privacy concern,” who was speaking to reporters on Monday.
According to Twitter, Zatko was let go due to “ineffective leadership and poor performance,” and his accusations seemed to be intended to damage the company.
Over two pages of links to supporting materials, including emails between Zatko and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and analysis of misinformation and disinformation on Twitter, appeared to be included in Zatko’s whistleblower complaint.