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August 25, 2022

Chairs Thompson and Clarke Demand Twitter CEO Address Whistleblower Allegations

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), and Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, & Innovation, sent a letter to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal demanding the company address disturbing whistleblower allegations regarding poor security and privacy practices and explain Twitter’s preparedness for the 2022 midterm elections.

Letter excerpts:

 American democracy is at an inflection point, and there is no question that the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential elections will test our institutions.  It is worth remembering how we got here. In 2016, social media companies were caught flat-footed when Russian operatives used platforms like Twitter to carry out a widespread disinformation campaign to influence the results of the presidential election.  By the 2020 election, the threat of disinformation had evolved, but it persisted.  At that time, Twitter and other platforms assured Congress that they had invested heavily in putting people, plans, and policies in place to protect against election misinformation. As you know, that election was followed by an unprecedented, violent attack on our Nation’s Capitol, fueled by the lie spread rampantly on social media that the 2020 election had been stolen.

Twitter plays a unique role in our information and political ecosystems.  Security flaws that put users’ sensitive personal data within easy reach of a hacker looking to take control of a high-profile account or a foreign dictator looking for information on dissidents are nothing short of a threat to national security. If substantiated, the whistleblower allegations demonstrate a pattern of willful disregard for the personal data of Twitter users and the integrity of the platform.

Link to letter

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