SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For fire departments, governments, school districts, businesses and organizations around the world, Twitter is a tool for getting messages across quickly, efficiently and directly.
But it is also a constant calculation of risk and reward.
A recent report by Twitter’s former chief security officer alleges that the social network has been negligent in its digital security and privacy protections for its users for years. While disturbing for anyone on Twitter, the revelations could be particularly worrying for those who use it to reach constituents, spread news about emergencies, and political dissidents and activists targeted by hackers or their own governments. We do.
Internet Freedom’s policy director Prateek Waghre said, “We see these companies as large, well-resourced entities that know what they’re doing, but you realize that a lot of their work is ad hoc. and reactive, driven by the crisis.” Foundation, a non-profit organization based in India. “Essentially, they are often held together with tape or chewing gum.”
Peter “Mudge” Zatko, who served as Twitter’s chief security officer until he was fired earlier this year, told federal officials last month that the company misleads regulators about its digital security and fakes. Reckless in its efforts to remove accounts that spread misinformation. Among Zatco’s most serious allegations is that Twitter violated the terms of a 2011 agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by falsely claiming that it implemented stringent measures to protect the security and privacy of its users. . ,
Wagre alleged in India’s complaint – that Twitter intentionally allowed the Indian government to place its agents on the company’s payroll, where they had “direct and unsecured access to company systems and employee data users” – specifically were worrying. He also pointed to an incident in early August where a former Twitter employee was found guilty of giving sensitive user data to members of the Saudi royal family in exchange for a bribe.
The consequences of security breaches can range from inconvenient to embarrassing or even worse, such as when an Indiana police account was hacked and “poop head” was tweeted. In October 2021, a Saudi aid worker was sentenced to 20 years in prison for an anonymous, satirical Twitter account that Riyadh claimed had fled. The case could be related to men accused of spying on behalf of the state while working on Twitter.
Twitter says the whistleblower’s claims present a “false narrative” about the company and its privacy and data protection practices, and that the claims lack context. “Security and privacy on Twitter have long been a priority for the company and will continue to be so,” the company said in a statement.