Elon Musk has written to Twitter to cite a whistleblower’s recent allegations as a new reason to scrap his takeover of the social media platform, a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission shows.
The Tesla boss, who is trying to exit his unsolicited $44 billion takeover deal, had already subpoenaed the site’s former security chief Peiter Zatko after he filed a scathing complaint about Twitter’s vulnerabilities last week.
Zatko has claimed that Twitter mishandles users’ personal information and that the company’s top executives have been misleading about the site’s security. In a filing filed Tuesday, Musk’s attorneys cited the litany of Zatko’s allegations as “an additional and distinct basis for terminating” Musk’s merger agreement with Twitter.
In July, Musk said Twitter’s inability to show how many spam accounts and bots were on the platform was the reason for withdrawing from the agreed acquisition deal, claiming that Twitter committed a “material breach.” for making “false and misleading statements” about the problem. In Tuesday’s filing, Musk’s attorneys, showing allegations in Zatko’s 84-page complaint, claimed that Twitter “materially violates privacy and consumer protection laws” and that “Twitter is uniquely vulnerable to system disruptions resulting from data center failures or malicious actors.” result. a fact that Twitter leadership (including its CEO) has ignored and attempted to cover up.”
“If these allegations are true, they demonstrate that Twitter has breached the following terms of the merger agreement,” the statement said.
It remains to be seen how much Zatko’s allegations will help Musk’s case to drop his Twitter deal, which is due to go to trial in Delaware in October, if the two parties don’t agree to a settlement sooner. Legal experts quoted by the Washington Post— one of the outlets that first publicized Zatko’s allegations — noted that the complaint contained “limited hard documentary evidence” relating to spam accounts and bots on Twitter.
And last Thursday, a judge dismissed as “absurdly sweeping” some of Musk’s requests for Twitter user data, effectively amounting to trillions of data points that “no one in their right mind has ever attempted such an effort,” reports Reuters . Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery added that Musk has enough data and documents to pursue his case.
Last week, a Twitter spokesperson responded to Zatko’s complaint, describing it as “a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is fraught with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context.”
Zatko – known in cybersecurity circles by the alias “Mudge” – earned a reputation as an “ethical hacker” before joining Twitter after the site suffered an embarrassing hack masterminded by a Florida teenager. According to a Twitter spokesman, Zatko was fired from his senior position at the company this year “due to ineffective leadership and poor performance.” An attorney for Zatko said his client did not coordinate his explosive leak with Musk or his affiliates.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/elon-musk-cites-shock-twitter-whistleblower-claims-as-new-reason-to-back-out-of-takeover-deal?source=articles&via=rss Elon Musk cites the claims of shocking Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko as a new reason to get out of the takeover business