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Senators demand Twitter CEO respond to whistleblower claims

Senate Judiciary Committee leaders are demanding that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal respond to allegations made by the company’s former security chief in a lengthy whistleblower complaint. CNN reported on a new letter to Agrawal in which committee leaders are demanding that the CEO respond to allegations that Twitter’s security practices could harm national security, as well as other issues raised in Peiter “Mudge” Zatko’s complaint.

Twitter had previously refused to address most of Zatko’s claims in detail. At the same time, the company’s lawyers tried to portray him as a disgruntled former employee during a Delaware state court hearing last week. The letter came the day before Zatko is scheduled to appear before a Judiciary Committee hearing to testify publicly about his work as Twitter’s head of security.

According to the letter, Agrawal was also “extended an invitation” to appear at the hearing, but he declined the offer. A Twitter spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Zatko also raised serious concerns about Twitter’s ability to counter misinformation and its work on basic internal security. Moreover, he claims that Twitter has misled the Federal Trade Commission and other regulators.

“These allegations raise serious concerns given Twitter’s significant role in the U.S. communications landscape and its global reach,” Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley wrote in the letter. It asks Agrawal to respond by Sept. 26.

The letter should put more pressure on Twitter, which is also in the midst of a legal battle with Elon Musk. The head of Tesla and SpaceX is trying to get out of a $44 billion deal to buy the company. Last week, a judge said Musk could add Zatko’s whistleblower complaint to his legal case.

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