Hometechnology News

    Twitter whistleblower: Spies for foreign agencies are on social media company's payroll

    Twitter whistleblower: Spies for foreign agencies are on social media company's payroll

    Twitter whistleblower: Spies for foreign agencies are on social media company's payroll
    Read Time
    3 Min(s) Read
    Profile image

    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

    Mini

    The report states that the US government gave evidence to Twitter, just before the whisteblower Peiter "Mudge" Zatko was fired, that one or more of its employees were working for the intelligence service of another government. Zatko's report has become public two weeks after a former manager from Twitter was convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia.

    Of all the explosive allegations made by Twitter's former head of security Peiter Zatko, who blew the whistle on the microblogging platform last month, the claim that at least one Twitter employee is a spy for a foreign intelligence agency, was perhaps the most outlandish — and incredible.
    According to an 83-page confidential disclosure sent to the US Congress and federal agencies last month — accessed by CNN, Time, and The Washington Post — Zatko said Twitter is vulnerable to foreign government exploitation in many ways that undermine the national security of the United States. Zatko further alleged that it is possible that company has foreign spies on its payroll.
    According to the CNN report, the US government shared intelligence with Twitter, just before Zatko was fired over six months ago, that one or more of its employees was working for the intelligence service of another government.
    Last year, even before Russia's Ukraine invasion, CEO Parag Agrawal — then Twitter's chief technology officer, — had proposed to Zatko that the company comply with Russian demands which could result in broad-based surveillance or censorship of the platform, Zatko alleged.
    The disclosure did not have further details of Agrawal's suggestions. However, Russia passed a law last summer putting pressure on tech platforms to open local offices in the nation or face potential advertising bans. This, western security experts said, was to give Russia higher leverage over US tech companies.
    Even though Agrawal's suggestion was discarded eventually, it was an alarming sign of how far the company would go in pursuit of growth, Zatko said in his complaint.
    His disclosure stated that even the fact that Twitter's present CEO suggested the company become complicit with the Putin regime was a cause for concern as it could have affected US national security.
    Zatko's report has become public two weeks after a former manager from Twitter was convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia.
    The Saudi incident underscores the gravity of Zatko's allegations now levelling at Twitter. His report may further inflame bipartisan concerns in the US about foreign adversaries as well as the cybersecurity threats they pose to Americans, from data theft of US citizens to manipulating the country's voters or stealing trade secrets and technology.
    Twitter has not yet replied to the specific questions regarding its alleged foreign intelligence vulnerabilities, the CNN report stated, though a company spokesperson attacked Zatko's credentials, saying he was fired for "poor performance and ineffective leadership".
    Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!
    arrow down

      Most Read

      Market Movers

      View All
      CompanyPriceChng%Chng