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Twitter shareholders on Tuesday approved by 98.6% the agreement to buy Twitter from billionaire Elon Musk, a month before the start of the trial which aims to force the latter to honor his commitment. At the same time, Peiter Zatko, the former head of security for the social network, detailed his report submitted to the American authorities on serious security breaches.
Twitter shareholders on Tuesday (September 13) approved the agreement to take over the platform by Elon Musk, just after hearing a whistleblower who, like the billionaire, accuses the company of having concealed problems.
The vote, 98.6% in favor of the transaction, consolidates the position of the social network one month before the opening of the lawsuit it launched against Elon Musk to force him to honor his commitment.
At the beginning of July, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX had unilaterally terminated the contract signed at the end of April for the acquisition of Twitter at 54.20 dollars per share, or a valuation of 44 billion dollars.
But this election represents a meager consolation for the blue bird decried in public by a former senior official. Peiter Zatko, the former security chief of Twitter fired in January, detailed on Tuesday his report submitted to US authorities on serious security breaches.
“Twitter’s management is deceiving elected officials, regulators and even its own board of directors,” he told the senators of the Judiciary Committee at the outset. “They don’t know what data they have, where it is, where it comes from and so obviously they can’t protect it,” said the expert better known by his pseudonym, Mudge. “Employees have too much access (…) it doesn’t matter who has the keys if you don’t have locks on the doors,” he said.
“Profits before safety”
The 51-year-old computer scientist, recruited at the end of 2020 after a spectacular hacking of certain profiles, claims to have tried to alert the group’s senior officials, in vain. “They don’t have the skills to understand the extent of the problem,” he said. “Most importantly, their executive bonuses encourage them to put profits before safety.”
At the end of August, the revelation by the press of the report of the whistleblower, highly respected in the cybersecurity community, had the effect of a bomb. Twitter dismissed these accusations as unfounded, but they came at a good time for Elon Musk.
He who once wanted to make the platform a public square “essential to democracy”, believes that the San Francisco-based company lied to him about the proportion of automated accounts and spam among its users. In his opinion, it would greatly exceed the 5% estimated by the management of Twitter.
But Peiter Zatko directly mentions in his report the questions asked by the boss of Tesla on bots. He cites “misleading” statements by Parag Agrawal, the network’s chief, and claims that Twitter’s tools are “outdated”, its teams “overwhelmed” and “inefficient”.
Claims that Elon Musk’s lawyers will try to use to their advantage during the trial scheduled for mid-October in a specialized court. In its press release on the shareholder vote, the Californian group assures “continue to believe that the alleged termination of the buyout agreement is invalid and unfounded”.
“I did not make my whistleblower disclosures out of malice or to harm Twitter,” Mudge assured senators on Tuesday. “Given the real damage to users and national security, I decided it was necessary to take the personal and professional risk, for me and my family, to raise the alarm,” he said. .
For his part, Elon Musk tweeted a popcorn-shaped emoji, suggesting that he was following the audition with relish.