Several senators investigate the security of Twitter and the firings under the direction of Elon Musk

Several Senators Investigate The Security Of Twitter And The Firings Under The Direction Of Elon Musk

Washington – Responding to the uproar and mass layoffs at Twitter after Elon Musk acquired the company, a group of Democratic senators on Thursday called on federal regulators to investigate any potential violations by the platform of user protection laws. consumer or their commitments to data security.

The senators also called on Lina Khan, head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to take action against Twitter and company executives for “any violations or unfair business practices or misleading.”

The FTC said last week that it is “following recent developments on Twitter with the utmost concern.”

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One of the main points to watch is a 2011 agreement Twitter signed with the agency (a consent decree), which required the San Francisco-based company to address serious data security breaches. Twitter paid a $150 million fine last May, several months before the Musk acquisition, for violating the agreement. An updated version established new procedures that require the company to implement an improved privacy protection program, as well as strengthen information security.

Events on Twitter have been a shambles, with experts and company employees warning of serious security risks from drastic staff reductions and widespread disorder.

In the latest twist, employees faced a 5 p.m. ET Thursday deadline to respond to an email from Musk asking them to click “Yes” on a link if they wanted to take part. of the “new Twitter”. Those who did not respond at that time would receive a severance payment of three months’ salary for dismissal, according to his email.

Musk, who completed the $44 billion acquisition in late October, laid off many of his full-time employees via email earlier this month, and is expected to cut an unspecified number of temporary jobs in the area. combating misinformation and other harmful content.

Several engineers tweeted that they were fired for saying something critical of Musk, either publicly on Twitter or in an internal forum for company employees.

In essence, Musk is reforming the offer on the influential social media platform, and it is unknown whether he has informed the FTC about it, as required by the 2011 agreement.

In recent weeks, Musk “has taken alarming steps that have undermined the integrity and security of the platform, and announced new features despite clear warnings that those changes would be abused to commit fraud, scams, and impersonation,” they noted. seven Democratic senators, led by Richard Blumenthal, from Connecticut, in the letter to Khan.

“Users are already facing severe repercussions from this growth strategy at any cost,” they wrote, highlighting recent incidents of fake accounts impersonating President Joe Biden, lawmakers, athletes, and companies, among others.

“We are concerned that the actions taken by Mr. Musk and others within Twitter management are already in violation of the FTC’s consent decree, which prohibits misrepresentation and requires Twitter to maintain an extensive data security program. information,” the letter states.

The FTC noted last week that “no CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees. Our updated consent order gives us new tools to ensure its application, and we are willing to use them.”

The agency did not say whether it is investigating Twitter for possible violations. If this is the case, it has the powers to demand documents and dismiss employees.

FTC officials declined to comment Thursday on the senators’ request.

After the FTC’s warning surfaced last week, Musk declared, “Twitter will do whatever it takes to abide by both the letter and the substance of the consent decree with the FTC.”

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