Just last week, Twitter’s ex-head of security disclosed significant security flaws at the short message service. Now Elon Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed the Twitter whistleblower.
Almost 200 pages comprise the revelations of former security chief Peiter Zatko, which he handed over to the US government. The Twitter whistleblower said he believes U.S. national security is at risk. In addition, he said, Twitter is misleading investors and regulators.
But it’s not just the U.S. government that is interested in the ex-security chief’s revelations. The accusations are also more than convenient for Elon Musk. Because Zatko could provide him with new material to wriggle out of his Twitter takeover.
Why does the Twitter whistleblower have to testify in the Musk vs. Twitter case?
Peiter Zatko is scheduled to testify in the legal dispute between Twitter and Elon Musk on September 9. Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed the whistleblower for this purpose.
For Elon Musk, the disclosed security risks from Twitter are of course very convenient. Until now, he has always tried to justify the end of his Twitter takeover with spam accounts.
He could draw further arguments from Zatko’s revelations. The Twitter whistleblower accuses the company of concealing critical security gaps.
For example, Twitter does not delete data from users who leave the platform as required. In addition, the short message service is said to have intelligence agents on its payroll.
But Zatko also lets off steam about spam accounts
But Zatko also mentioned the spam and fake accounts that Elon Musk likes to mention in his revelations. According to him, Twitter does not have an accurate count of spam, fake and bot accounts. Nor does the company have much incentive to get that number out, he said.
In the legal dispute between Twitter and Elon Musk, Twitter’s ex-head of security must now submit an affidavit. However, Musk’s team’s demands in the subpoena went further.
They also demand that Zatko produce “books, documents or tangible things in your possession” relating to Twitter and its spam accounts.
What does the Twitter whistleblower say about his subpoena?
Zatko’s lawyers said earlier this week that he would “comply with his legal obligations under this subpoena.” However, his “appearance at the deposition is involuntary.”
This is because he had not wanted to harm Twitter with his disclosures to the relevant government agencies. Nor did he decide to disclose this information to support Musk in his dispute with Twitter.
His intention was to protect the American public and Twitter shareholders.