Senators across the ideological spectrum vowed to tighten controls on social media in response to testimony Tuesday that he called a “mine of security vulnerabilities.”
Former head of Twitter security
Even Republicans like South Carolina had their visions
“Now is the time to look at social media platforms in a new way,” Graham Zatko promised at the hearing. “What you have done today will not be in vain.”
The two senators are working on a bill to create a new federal regulator to oversee big tech, Graham told reporters after the hearing. For companies like Twitter, he suggested that while they don’t mind paying a $150 million fine, they “might be worried about losing their license.” Graham and Warren did not agree on the list, a congressional aide said.
Currently, the FTC and the Justice Department share oversight of the technology industry, and some advocates have argued that a regulator focused on the Internet economy is better suited to take on the world’s richest industries.
Graham said such an agency should force companies to fortify their platforms against outside interference, be more responsible with user data and provide an appeals process for content moderation decisions. New laws “must create consequences for these organizations and give them incentives to do better,” he said.
Zatko says Twitter is a decade away from essential security updates, and cited several examples of Twitter prioritizing profits over addressing risks on its influential platform.
“Twitter’s insecure handling of user data and its inability or unwillingness to truthfully represent issues to its board of directors and regulators have threatened tens of millions of Americans, the American democratic process, and America’s national security,” Zatko said. In the trial.
In addition, the company’s management “repeatedly covered up its security weaknesses by defrauding regulators and lying to users and investors.”
Zatko, 51, was fired in January 2022 after the company cited performance deficiencies.
Twitter said in a statement after the hearing that “Mr. Zatko’s allegations are riddled with contradictions and inaccuracies.” The company said it protects the hiring process by using data access control systems and background checks.
Reaction to Zatko’s testimony has been mixed from current and former Twitter employees, people familiar with the matter, and tweets from employees. Some have suggested that Zatco’s big-picture complaint — that tech companies like Twitter need better control over data and security issues — has gone awry. Others have questioned why he himself hasn’t done more to fix Twitter’s problems, given his senior position within.
He is sitting alone at the table in front of him
The FTC fined Twitter in May for violating a 2011 agreement to strengthen security controls and respect user privacy. But as a Hawaii Democrat
Zatko’s accusations come as Twitter prepares to go to court to force it.
Lawmakers, in particular, have raised concerns about Mudge’s allegations that Twitter allowed foreign agents to work on its payroll and acceded to requests from adversaries such as China. Chairman of the Judiciary
“Twitter is an extremely powerful platform that cannot afford security vulnerabilities,” Durbin said.
Zatko said he wasn’t surprised to find out a week before he was fired.
“If you don’t put outside agents in Twitter — because it’s so hard to find them, it’s very important to have an outside agent in there,” Zatoko said of intelligence agencies, “you’re probably not doing your job.” job”
Twitter CEO Grassley said.
Zatko has pleaded with lawmakers to provide protections for whistleblowers who want to come forward while at the companies. He also said that any privacy law should include audits and results that cannot be played with technology platforms.
There is bipartisan support for new Internet regulations to protect user privacy and security, but current proposals have failed to gain much traction as Congress focuses on other priorities. Even with Graham’s support, other Senate Judiciary Republicans questioned the need to give more powers to regulators.
“I don’t think we need any more bureaucrats,” said the Texas Republican.
“To effectively address this problem, we must not only restructure the company, but also restructure, improve and strengthen our regulatory tools,” Bumenthal said. “Obviously what we’re doing right now isn’t working.”
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