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Twitter denies whistleblower allegations of Indian government agents on company payroll

Former Twitter executive makes multiple serious allegations against Twitter in a whistleblower complaint.

Update: On August 26, Twitter India's representatives appeared before the Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology following whistleblower Peiter Zatko's allegations, reported the Financial Express. Representatives refuted claims of knowingly hiring government agents on the company payroll further claiming that most employees "do not have access to user data." However, the committee said its response was "not satisfactory," including answers about Twitter India's data security policies being in sync with local and global privacy policies and handling conflicts between different national privacy policies. Earlier: Former Twitter Security Chief Peiter “Mudge” Zatko has accused the company of “egregious deficiencies" and "negligence" in ensuring its security, privacy, and integrity in a whistleblower complaint.  The disclosure, reported by the Washington Post on August 23, claimed that Twitter was allegedly complicit in allowing foreign governments' efforts to infiltrate, control, exploit, surveil and/or censor the company’s platform, staff, and operations. Indian government agents inside Twitter Zatko accused Twitter of knowingly letting the Indian government access people’s personal data, however, Twitter responded to MediaNama denying these allegations. In a statement sent to us, Twitter said that it: "was not compelled to hire government agents but rather had to open and fill roles for individuals in India to meet legal requirements under India’s IT Act. This was publicized at the time, including on Twitter’s website." In the whistleblower complaint, Zatko had alleged that: "The Indian government forced Twitter to hire specific individual(s) who were government agents, who (because of Twitter's basic architectural flaws) would have access to vast amounts…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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