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posted by janrinok on Tuesday February 27, @03:31PM   Printer-friendly

Twitter security staff kept firm in compliance by disobeying Musk, FTC says:

Twitter employees prevented Elon Musk from violating the company's privacy settlement with the US government, according to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan.

After Musk bought Twitter in late 2022, he gave Bari Weiss and other journalists access to company documents in the so-called "Twitter Files" incident. The access given to outside individuals raised concerns that Twitter (which is currently named X) violated a 2022 settlement with the FTC, which has requirements designed to prevent repeats of previous security failures.

Some of Twitter's top privacy and security executives also resigned shortly after Musk's purchase, citing concerns that Musk's rapid changes could cause violations of the settlement.

FTC staff deposed former Twitter employees and "learned that the access provided to the third-party individuals turned out to be more limited than the individuals' tweets and other public reporting had indicated," Khan wrote in a letter sent today to US Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Khan's letter said the access was limited because employees refused to comply with Musk's demands:

The deposition testimony revealed that in early December 2022, Elon Musk had reportedly directed staff to grant an outside third-party individual "full access to everything at Twitter... No limits at all." Consistent with Musk's direction, the individual was initially assigned a company laptop and internal account, with the intent that the third-party individual be given "elevated privileges" beyond what an average company employee might have.

However, based on a concern that such an arrangement would risk exposing nonpublic user information in potential violation of the FTC's Order, longtime information security employees at Twitter intervened and implemented safeguards to mitigate the risks. Ultimately the third-party individuals did not receive direct access to Twitter's systems, but instead worked with other company employees who accessed the systems on the individuals' behalf.

Jordan is chair of the House Judiciary Committee and has criticized the investigation, claiming that "the FTC harassed Twitter in the wake of Mr. Musk's acquisition." Khan's letter to Jordan today argues that the FTC investigation was justified.

"The FTC's investigation confirmed that staff was right to be concerned, given that Twitter's new CEO had directed employees to take actions that would have violated the FTC's Order," Khan wrote. "Once staff learned that the FTC's Order had worked to ensure that Twitter employees took appropriate measures to protect consumers' private information, compliance staff made no further inquiries to Twitter or anyone else concerning this issue."

Khan also wrote that deep staff cuts following the Musk acquisition, and resignations of Twitter's top privacy and compliance officials, meant that "there was no one left at the company responsible for interpreting and modifying data policies and practices to ensure Twitter was complying with the FTC's Order to safeguard Americans' personal data." The letter continued:

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by epitaxial on Wednesday February 28, @12:23AM (2 children)

    by epitaxial (3165) on Wednesday February 28, @12:23AM (#1346574)

    In the days leading up to the January 6 insurrection, Jordan, Trump and other Freedom Caucus members held a discussion on strategies for delaying the certification of the electoral vote, according to the House January 6 Committee report.

    And the day before, the committee wrote, Jordan texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, passing along a memo advising that Vice President Pence should "call out the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all." []

    So he's a traitorous asshole then.

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 28, @03:25AM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 28, @03:25AM (#1346592)

    >So he's a traitorous asshole then.

    Yeah, and the traitorous assholes are on track to win the Republican presidential nomination for 2024.

    First election I was ever aware of was Carter in '76, I was in a private school so all my classmates were parent-brainwashed to back "the other guy" - they (or, more significantly, their parents) were absolutely astounded that the peanut farmer won.

    50 years of traitorous assholes is enough, hopefully this destroys the party for a long time to come. Unfortunately, I do not see a 100% guarantee that our paragon of Fascist America will lose in November.

    🌻🌻 []
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday February 28, @03:32AM

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday February 28, @03:32AM (#1346593)

    And then there's why he's "Gym" Jordan: Wrestlers for the Ohio State University told him as their coach that they were being sexually abused, and he not only didn't protect the wrestlers, he did what he could to cover it up and protect the person abusing his students.

    A really terrible person all around.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.