Home Tech Elon Musk’s Twitter Files reveal didn’t violate FTC order, probe finds

Elon Musk’s Twitter Files reveal didn’t violate FTC order, probe finds


After a divisive investigation into the “Twitter Files” that Republicans decried as “harassment,” the Federal Trade Commission has discovered no proof that the social community violated the phrases of a authorities order that positioned sweeping restrictions on the corporate’s information safety practices.

Since December 2022, the federal watchdog has been probing allegations that Musk ordered workers to give a bunch of out of doors writers “full access to everything,” prompting issues that the corporate was out of compliance with a settlement that places tight controls on customers’ information. Musk gave directives that ran afoul of the order, however veteran Twitter workers intervened and prevented the writers from straight accessing the corporate’s inner programs, based on a letter FTC Chair Lina Khan despatched to House Republicans on Wednesday.

“Longtime information security employees at Twitter intervened and implemented safeguards to mitigate the risks,” the letter stated. “The FTC’s investigation confirmed that staff was right to be concerned, given that Twitter’s new CEO had directed employees to take actions that would have violated the FTC’s Order.”

The Twitter Files writers didn’t obtain direct entry to the corporate’s programs, however as an alternative labored with workers who accessed the programs on their behalf, based on the FTC.

Propaganda accounts discovered by Meta nonetheless flourish on X

The conclusion is more likely to show unsatisfying to Musk’s critics, who considered the FTC order as one of many few checks that the federal authorities had on his management of the social community. Former workers have warned since November 2022 that Musk’s workforce reductions and speedy product rollouts might run afoul of the order. Such consent orders have made the FTC the nation’s defacto tech privateness regulator within the absence of congressional motion on proposals to control the trade.

The Twitter order, which was up to date in 2022 after the corporate allegedly broke a 2011 settlement, requires the corporate to have strict controls for all programs that retailer client data or present entry to customers’ account. The FTC says it continues to observe the corporate’s compliance with the order.

“When we heard credible public reports of potential violations of protections for Twitter users’ data, we moved swiftly to investigate,” FTC spokesman Douglas Farrar stated in an announcement. “The order remains in place and the FTC continues to deploy the order’s tools to protect Twitter users’ data and ensure the company remains in compliance.”

The letter additionally punctuates months of political jousting between Khan and House Republicans, who’ve aligned themselves with Musk’s freewheeling method to content material moderation and portrayed the FTC’s investigation as a “harassment campaign.” House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan has characterised Khan’s method as “intimidation followed by inaction;” a subcommittee he chairs launched a report known as, “The Weaponization of the Federal Trade Commission: An Agency’s Overreach to Harass Elon Musk’s Twitter.”

The report notably zeroed in on the FTC’s scrutiny of the Twitter Files, which gave a handful of out of doors writers entry to the corporate’s inner information as Musk accused Twitter’s former management of suppressing speech on the platform, particularly throughout the 2020 election. Republicans have cheered on these efforts, and the weaponization report characterised the FTC’s probe into the dealing with of the matter as “a government inquiry into First Amendment-protected activity.”

Twitter, since renamed X, had a historical past of tangling with the FTC lengthy earlier than Musk purchased it in October 2022. The company opened a probe into the platform’s safety practices previous to Musk’s buy after a whistleblower criticism that The Post reported in August 2022.

But tensions between the company and Musk spilled into public view inside weeks of the acquisition. In November 2022, the FTC took the extraordinary step of publicly stating it was scrutinizing the developments on the platform with “deep concern” and was ready to take motion to make sure the corporate was in compliance with the order.

Earlier that day, former chief data safety officer Lea Kissner and different members of the corporate’s information governance committee resigned, amid issues that Musk’s swift rollout of a brand new account verification system didn’t permit sufficient time for the safety critiques required by the FTC order.

Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ ignite divisions, however haven’t modified minds

In the letter to Jordan, the FTC experiences {that a} former Twitter privateness and safety skilled testified that system, Twitter Blue, was deployed so quick that “security and privacy review was not conducted in accordance with the company’s process for software development.” Another skilled informed the FTC that he was frightened about Musk’s “commitment to overall security and privacy of the organization.”

Strain between the corporate and regulator erupted once more in July, when X requested a federal courtroom to terminate the FTC order and sought to dam the company’s deposition of Musk. A federal choose in California in November rejected the corporate’s movement and denied X’s attorneys’ try to dam the FTC from deposing Musk.

The FTC doesn’t rule out bringing future lawsuits towards X, Farrar stated, and it’s persevering with litigation in California to protect the consent order and depose Musk.


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