According to documents disclosed in a congressional report, the Federal Trade Commission is examining Elon Musk’s mass layoffs at Twitter and attempting to access his internal correspondence as part of ongoing monitoring of the social media company’s privacy and cybersecurity procedures. After Twitter consented to a 2011 consent order alleging major data security violations, the FTC studied the business for years. But, the agency’s suspicions grew in the aftermath of Musk’s Oct. 27 acquisition of the company.
Extracts released by Judiciary Committee
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee released extracts from the FTC’s letters on Tuesday as part of a report saying that the agency “exceeded its authority in order to harass Elon Musk’s Twitter.”
The requests amounted to a flood of “demands about its personnel decisions in each of the company’s departments, every internal communication relating to Elon Musk, and even Twitter’s interactions with journalists,” according to the House, who Musk’s team allowed to see certain employee emails and messages.
These records, dubbed The Twitter Files, demonstrated how the firm made content-moderation choices before Musk took over.
In response to the House report, the FTC stated that protecting consumers’ privacy is exactly what the FTC is meant to do. It should come as no surprise that the commission’s career staff is undertaking a thorough inquiry into Twitter’s compliance with a consent order that went into place long before Mr. Musk purchased the company.
Twitter had previously paid a $150 million penalty for breaking the 2011 consent decree in May, roughly five months before Musk’s acquisition. An upgraded version mandated that the corporation develop an expanded privacy-protection approach and strengthen information security.
But, in November, a group of Democratic senators questioned such assurances and requested the FTC, led by Chair Lina Khan, a Democrat, to examine any potential violations amid fears that tales of Twitter’s chaos and substantially decreased workforce under Musk constituted serious security dangers. The FTC stated at the time that it was closely monitoring recent developments at Twitter.