Whistleblower’s testimony on Twitter makes senators bleed

Lots of Silicon The Valley’s fiercest watchdogs on Capitol Hill are now snarling. Yesterday’s arrested testimony by Twitter’s former chief of security, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, prompted lawmakers on both sides to redouble efforts to rein in the tech giants.

Zatko’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee follows a detailed report he submitted to the US Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission late last month. His allegationwhich was a central topic of yesterday’s hearing, from claims of lax security protocols to sloppy leadership – all of which were denied by Twitter.

Even if the senators are still seething – guessing they are not fans of the more than 4,000 Twitter employees who have easy access to their accounts and millions of others, as Zatko alleges – there are also a sense of innovation is taking place in the Capital.

Republican Senator Mike Lee told WIRED after the hearing: “It’s an interesting thing.

Partly because many senators felt they had found the opium gun.

“My guess is that this testimony today is going to trigger a lot of class action,” Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said after questioning the witness Tuesday. “And it should.”

Republicans are referring to Zatko’s allegation that the social media platform lacks basic security measures, such as tracking which of the company’s hundreds of engineers are making changes to the platform. According to Zatko, this includes potential exploitation from a US senator’s own account.

Kennedy said: “I suppose they have.

Hence the growl. Like the rest of us, US senators protect their personal data at all times. And the growing consensus in Washington is that the FTC is unfit to confront the social media giants, who, according to Zatko, laugh at the $150 million fine and all the demands the FTC posing for bad tech actors.

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said: “Perhaps the right thing to do is give it to private litigants. “Laws are powerful things, so be it, we let people who are being bothered and people who are being attacked and whatever – we give them the right to go to court. Then you get the discovery. “

While the senators plan to ask Twitter officials to testify — possibly with support from subpoenas — in response to accusations from their former chief executive, they also appear unlikely to be. wait. Senator Hawley is now trying to breathe new life into his sudden proposal to move the FTC’s technology portfolio to the Department of Justice, although he is open to many emerging reform ideas. around Washington.

Hawley and outspoken senator Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina are renewing their call to destroy Article 230—The act, passed by Congress in the early days of the internet, protects online companies from certain types of litigation over content that users publish on their platforms.

“You have to license people. Obviously, money is not important to them. Your inability to function will be the problem, says Graham. “So if you’re licensed, then you have something you can lose.”

Graham has teamed up with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to call for the creation of a new federal regulator focused on technology companies. While both agree that the FTC does not currently have the ability to oversee Silicon Valley, they disagree on Section 230, which Graham has wanted reformed for some time.

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