Twitter: Whistleblower points out unclear links to China
(Reuters) – Revelations by a former Twitter security chief-turned-whistleblower suggest at least one Chinese intelligence agent worked for the company, US Senator Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday ahead of a hearing by Alert Launcher.
Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a former hacker who was hired by Twitter to provide security until he was fired last year, said during the US Senate hearing that Twitter officials feared the Chinese government was leaking customer data could skim from the social network.
He noted that some Twitter officials wanted to expand the platform’s business in China to maximize revenue from Chinese advertisers, while others were reluctant to do so, in part due to rising tensions between Beijing and Washington.
The whistleblower also revealed that “the FBI notified Twitter that a Chinese agent had infiltrated the company,” Senator Grassley said without giving further details.
Republican lawmakers noted that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal refused to appear before the Senate over concerns it would jeopardize the San Francisco-based company’s lawsuit against Elon Musk after the Tesla boss decided to be to drop the offer to buy the network.
Twitter will announce the result of its shareholders’ vote on the sale to Elon Musk on Tuesday. Sources told Reuters a majority backed the deal.
(Report by Sheila Dang and David Shepardson, French version Tangi Salaün, edited by Bertrand Boucey)
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