Elon Musk adds Twitter whistleblower allegations to amended countersuit

Elon Musk adds Twitter whistleblower allegations to amended countersuit

Elon Musk’s legal team amended its countersuit against Twitter on Thursday to include allegations from the social media giant’s former security chief Peiter “Mudge” Zatko.

Musk’s countersuit claims Twitter breached its obligations under its $44 billion acquisition deal by misrepresenting the total number of spam and fake accounts on its platform. Twitter claimed that spam and fake accounts account for less than 5% of its users.

“It goes without saying that the latest disclosures show unmistakably that the Musk parties have every right to withdraw from the merger agreement – ​​for numerous sufficient independent reasons,” the filing states.

Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko testifies during a Senate court hearing examining the security of data at risk, Tuesday, September 13, 2022, in Washington, DC (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/AP Newsroom)

Zatko filed an 84-page whistleblower complaint with Congress, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice in July, accusing Twitter of “extreme and flagrant failures” in its cybersecurity. He testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week that the Indian government placed an agent on Twitter and that he was made aware of “at least one agent” from the Chinese government’s intelligence service who was “on the lookout.” payroll”.

In addition to Twitter’s security vulnerabilities, Zatko alleged in the complaint that Twitter executives “have no incentive to ‘accurately detect’ or report the total number of spambots on the platform.” Instead, they would be incentivized to increase the company’s number of monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) with bonuses that could exceed $10 million. He also claims that Twitter lacks the resources to fully understand the true number of bots on the platform.

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“Faced with Zatko’s devastating analysis, Twitter did exactly what it did to Elon Musk when it started raising questions about fake accounts and spam and mDAU: ignored and covered up the issues and attacked the messenger,” Musk’s amended countersuit states..

“As for Musk, Twitter blocked his requests for information, violating his rights under the merger agreement, and then launched this baseless lawsuit after rightfully terminating the agreement. Both episodes reveal the extensive and unlawful lengths Twitter will go to avoid disclosing the true state of the company (its “key” financial metrics, security infrastructure, intellectual property infringement, and legal compliance) to the public.”

“In short, the Musk Parties and the many other investors in Twitter have been sold to a different company than the Twitter that actually exists, a company that is more valuable, more popular, more secure, and more compliant with applicable law,” adds the trial.

Musk said Twitter refused to explain how they calculated the bots and called it “highly suspicious”. (Getty images | istock)


The amended countersuit comes as Twitter prepares to bring Musk to justice in a five-day trial that begins Oct. 17. In addition to the countersuit, Musk filed three separate notices of termination in an attempt to back out of the deal. , which Twitter called “invalid and unlawful”.

“Mr. Musk’s assertions are factually inaccurate, legally insufficient and commercially irrelevant,” a Twitter spokesperson told FOX Business on Friday. “We look forward to the trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery.”

On Wednesday, Twitter shareholders voted to approve Musk’s acquisition.

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