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Peiter Zatko, Twitter whistleblower, will meet with a Senate panel on September 13

On Sept. 13, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet with Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, who used to be Twitter's head of security, to talk about his whistleblower complaint, which says that the social media company lied to regulators.

Zatko said that Twitter lied about having a good security plan and gave misleading information about how it protects itself from hackers and spam accounts. This week, Zatko talked about his complaint with staff in the office of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, two people familiar with the situation said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Staff of Sen. Richard Blumenthal discussed the issue with Zatko this week, sources said.

In an 84-page complaint, Zatko, a well-known hacker who goes by the name "Mudge," made a lot of claims. He said that Twitter put user growth ahead of reducing spam, and that executives could get bonuses of up to $10 million each if the number of daily users went up, but they couldn't get anything specifically for reducing spam.

Twitter said that the complaint was a "false story."

Sen. Richard Durbin, the committee's chair, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the committee, said, "The Senate Judiciary Committee will look into this issue further with a full committee hearing this work period and take any other steps needed to get to the bottom of these alarming allegations."

Blumenthal, a Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee who is interested in Big Tech, wrote in a letter to Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan: "According to disclosures and evidence provided by Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, a highly-respected cybersecurity expert who served as Twitter's Security Lead from 2020 to 2022, Twitter executives allegedly failed to address significant security vulnerabilities and ignored the mishandling of personal data."

In the letter, Blumenthal asked the FTC to look into the matter.


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