- Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko will speak publicly for the first time since his complaint was made public.
- Lawmakers are expected to grill Zatko on claims that Twitter’s flaws posed a risk to user privacy and national security.
- Interest in the testimony has grown after a judge ruled that Elon Musk can use Zatko’s claims in his battle with Twitter.
On Tuesday, Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko, will speak publicly for the first time since his bombshell whistleblower complaint that may be key to determining the company’s future.
Zatko is set to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about claims he made about Twitter’s security failings.
Zatko’s complaint details Twitter’s allegedly negligent security practices and says they pose a threat to user privacy and even national security.
He also accuses Jack Dorsey of suffering from a “drastic loss of focus” in his final year as CEO, saying he was so disengaged that some senior employees allegedly speculated about whether he was sick.
Zatko’s complaint contains myriad information that may interest US lawmakers. He accuses the company’s leadership of misleading government regulators about security flaws that could potentially pave the way for foreign spying, hacking, or disinformation campaigns, according to CNN.
The complaint also alleges that Twitter’s current CEO, Parag Agrawal, once suggested that the company bow to Russia’s censorship and surveillance demands to grow its user base.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to question Zatko about all of these claims.
“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. The Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate this issue further with a full Committee hearing this work period, and take further steps as needed to get to the bottom of these alarming allegations,” Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin said in a joint statement last month.
Twitter has denied Zatko’s claims and has painted him as a disgruntled employee who was fired for “ineffective leadership and poor performance.”
Interest in Zatko’s testimony has intensified after a judge ruled that Elon Musk can use claims from the whistleblower’s complaint in his legal battle to terminate his deal to buy Twitter.
The “hearing will be closely watched by the Street to better understand the details around security issues as well as the bot/fake account issue at the centerpiece of Musk’s focus,” Dan Ives, a technology analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a recent note to clients.
Intensifying the drama: Twitter shareholders are expected to approve Musk’s $44 billion takeover deal in a shareholder vote on Tuesday, the same day as Zatko’s testimony, The Wall Street Journal reported.