Friday, June 14, 2024

Whistleblower says India forced Twitter to hire agents

 Souvik Banerjee/Unsplash

Former head of security for Twitter, Peiter Zatko, has alleged that Indian government forced the social media site to hire agents to access vast amounts of sensitive data at a time of intense protests in the country.

Zatko’s allegations regarding the state of Twitter’s operations in India were a part of a wider whistleblower report against the microblogging site.

Twitter has denied Zatko’s allegations and described them as a false narrative.

Zatko was fired by Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal after he began documenting what he says were repeated security violations, and as he worked with the company’s compliance officer on a formal investigation based on his claims.

He alleges that Twitter executives hired two people whom he believes were Indian government agents and put them in positions with “direct unsupervised access” to internal Twitter data and information.

The Indian government is yet to respond to the allegations raised by the report.

“Twitter and the Government of India must release public statements and address these concerning allegations that Twitter hired an agent at the behest of the Indian government and gave the person unfiltered access to user data,” tweeted Apar Gupta, Executive Director of the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF).

Zatko also says Twitter is beset by fundamental architectural flaws that allow too many employees “God mode” access to its systems, making the platform vulnerable to hackers and influence by foreign intelligence agencies, reports TIME.

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