The latest development in the Elon Musk vs. Twitter fiasco came earlier last week, when it was reported that the billionaire wants to revive his original buyout offer, and acquire Twitter for $44 billion USD (roughly $59.5 billion CAD).
However, a new report from Bloomberg suggests that right before reviving the offer, Musk reportedly accused Twitter of ordering the whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko to destroy evidence relating to the company as part of a $7.8 million (roughly $10.7 million CAD) severance package.
Zatko’s allegations were an integral part of Musk’s case against the company, and up until last week, the whistleblower’s allegations were to be used in court to justify Musk walking away from the acquisition deal. According to Zatko, the company is practicing “extreme, egregious deficiencies” related to privacy, security and content moderation.
According to Zatko, prior to him being fired in January, reportedly due to poor work performance, he had warned Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about major privacy and computer security risks related to the social media platform’s operations that constituted violations of agreements the business had made with government regulators. One of the allegations was that too many of Twitter’s employees have access to critical systems and users’ sensitive personal data, while Zatko also alleged that Twitter repeatedly made “false and misleading statements” to users and the FTC, violating an agreement from its 2010 settlement with the FTC over a failure to protect consumers’ personal information.
Zatko says he burned 10 handwritten notebooks and deleted 100 computer files as part of his separation agreement, as written in the October 3rd court filings that were unsealed Monday, October 10th. “Twitter’s attempt to buy Mr. Zatko’s silence failed, but Twitter achieved its secondary aim of ensuring Mr. Zatko’s corroborating evidence would never come to light,” Musk’s lawyers said in the unsealed filing, via Bloomberg.
Musk’s lawyers are now accusing Twitter’s top two lawyers, namely Vijaya Gadde and Sean Edgett, alongside the social media platform’s chief privacy officer Damien Kieran and Agrawal of covering up the violations of the legal settlements by ordering Zatko to destroy his documents.
The Twitter vs. Musk trial, which was initially scheduled for October 17th has now been postponed to November, while Musk has until October 28th to close the deal, according to Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, head of the Delaware Chancery Court.
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