Elon Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed a former Twitter executive-turned-whistleblower as a part of the Tesla titan’s ongoing legal battle to back out of his deal to purchase the social media company for $44bn.
Court filings revealed on Monday that Mr Musk’s lawyers are demanding to listen to from Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, Twitter’s former security head, who recently said the corporate doesn’t understand how many bots are on its platform.
Mr Zatko’s claims were in keeping with the Tesla chief’s allegation that Twitter undercounted its spam “bot” accounts, and that he shouldn’t undergo with the deal to purchase the corporate consequently.
The previous Twitter executive also said last week that the microblogging platform was riddled with vast and dangerous security problems.
In his document to US regulatory agencies, Mr Zatko said Twitter has not been honest in regards to the platform’s privacy issues and data security.
He said the corporate has been subject to major breaches by foreign governments, adding that it even hired two people he believes were agents of India’s government at a time when the country was seeing widespread protests.
Mr Zatko claimed that before Twitter’s current chief Parag Agrawal became the corporate’s head, he had supported the platform’s expansion in Russia, despite censorship and surveillance within the country.
The document also claimed that Twitter has been “lying” to Mr Musk about bots on the platform, adding that the actual number is much higher than the corporate acknowledged.
He said the estimation comes from a sampling of a subset of accounts called “monetisable each day energetic users” or mDAUs – a measure that tells advertisers what number of persons are their ads.
Revealing the actual variety of bots to the general public, the previous executive said, would “hurt the image and valuation of the corporate”.
Following the allegations, Twitter said in an announcement to The Independent that Mr Zatko had been fired by the corporate for “ineffective leadership and poor performance”.
“What we’ve seen thus far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that’s riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks essential context,” the corporate noted within the statement.
“Mr Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and can proceed to be,” it said.