Twitter To Be Investigated By The Senate And The EU Over Claims Of Lax Security

Twitter has a big problem on its hands. And it’s not named Elon Musk. The Senate Judiciary Committee, following the former head of security of Twitter surfaced with claims of lax security on the platform. The Washington Post has more:

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Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko will testify before the Senate about his allegations of security failures at the social network, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Wednesday.

The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13, and Zatko, Twitter’s former security chief who is also known as “Mudge,” will appear pursuant to a subpoena. The hearing was announced one day after The Washington Post reported on Zatko’s whistleblower complaint to federal regulators that alleges “extreme, egregious deficiencies” in its defenses against hackers, as well as meager efforts to fight spam.

“Mr. Zatko’s allegations of widespread security failures and foreign state actor interference at Twitter raise serious concerns. If these claims are accurate, they may show dangerous data privacy and security risks for Twitter users around the world,” said Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the chair and top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

And that’s not all. The EU is piling on with an investigation of their own:

Two national data protection authorities in the EU, in Ireland and France, have confirmed to TechCrunch that they are following up on the whistleblower complaint.

Ireland, which is Twitter’s lead supervisor for the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — and previously led a GDPR investigation of a separate security incident that resulted in a $550,000 fine for Twitter — said it is “engaging” with the company in the wake of the publicity around the complaint.

“We became aware of the issues when we read the media stories [yesterday] and have engaged with Twitter on the matter,” the regulator’s deputy commissioner, Graham Doyle, told us.

While France’s DPA said it is investigating allegations made in the complaint.

“The CNIL is currently investigating the complaint filed in the U.S. For the moment we are not in a position to confirm or deny the accuracy of the alleged breaches,” a spokesperson for the French watchdog told us. “If the accusations are true, the CNIL could carry out checks that could lead to an order to comply or a sanction if breaches are found. In the absence of a breach, the procedure would be terminated.

This is big trouble for Twitter as the EU is pretty harsh when it comes to this sort of thing. And seeing that mid-term elections are coming up, lots of Senators will be wanting to put on a show and use Twitter as a whipping boy to make a point with the people back home. Thus Twitter better have a strategy to deal with this, or they are just going to get destroyed by both of these parties.

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