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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightEx-staff says Twitter...

Ex-staff says Twitter hired Indian Govt agent, giving access to data, company denies

Ex-staff says Twitter hired Indian Govt agent, giving access to data, company denies

New Delhi: The former Twitter employee created a storm in the US following his claim that the micro-blogging social media network is vulnerable in terms of data protection which in turn poses a threat to national security.

Former Twitter security head Peiter Zatko, known by the nickname 'Mudge', submitted before the US authority that Twitter is egregiously deficient in terms of its ability to fend off attackers.

Zatko's whistleblower disclosure in an 84-page page, submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was obtained by CNN and The Washington Post on Tuesday, also contains serious allegations where it has been mentioned that the Indian government has forced the social media company to appoint a government agent so that the agency could access uncontrolled access to users' sensitive data.

However, Twitter bluntly denied the claim calling Zatko a disgruntled employee, who was sacked for his poor performance.

In a section titled 'Penetration by Foreign Intelligence & Threats to Democracy', Zatko claimed that "the Indian government forced Twitter to hire a specific individual(s) who were government agents, who (because of Twitter's basic architectural flaws) would have access to vast amounts of Twitter sensitive data".

"By knowingly permitting an Indian government agent direct unsupervised access to the company's systems and user data, Twitter executives violated the company's commitments to its users," he claimed.

Zatko, who reported directly to the CEO, was fired by Twitter in January this year over "poor performance".

Last month, he filed a complaint with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), accusing Twitter of deceiving shareholders and violating an agreement it made with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to uphold certain security standards.

In a statement to Spectrum News, a Twitter spokesperson said Zatko was a disgruntled former employee who is making untrue claims.

"Zatko was fired from his senior executive role at Twitter in January 2022 for ineffective leadership and poor performance," the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

"What we've seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that are riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lack important context," the company spokesperson added.

Zatko also alleged that the Indian government forced Twitter to hire local full-time employees that "could be used as leverage".

"The threat of harm to Twitter employees was sufficient to cause Twitter to seriously consider complying with foreign government requests that Twitter would otherwise fundamentally oppose," he claimed.

With the IANS Input

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TAGS:Twitter Indian Government Data protection Twitter hired Indian Govt agent 
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