Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, said that he was completely taken aback by the extent of access that the government has within the dominant social media company.
The software tycoon, who finished acquiring Twitter around six months ago, made the remarks in a recent tape promoting an interview he had with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.
It blew my mind how much access different government agencies actually had to everything that was happening on Twitter,” he claimed. “I had no idea about that.”
Carlson inquires at the end of the brief film about whether direct communications were accessible to the government, and Musk responds, “Yes.”
In order to create anticipation for the interview that would run on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Monday night, Carlson’s verified Twitter account posted the tape on Sunday. It was not clear from the video if Musk names any specific organizations.
According to the existing policy on the Twitter website, personal data won’t be given to law enforcement “except in response to appropriate legal process such as a subpoena, another valid legal process, court order, or in response to a valid emergency request.”
The website further states that requests for the content of communications, including direct messages, “require a legitimate search warrant or equivalent from an agency having proper jurisdiction over Twitter.”
Musk, who was already a titan in the technology sector with businesses like Tesla and SpaceX, seized control of Twitter in late October after completing a $44 billion acquisition. In the months that followed, Musk supported the internal corporate records and emails that have come to be known as “The Twitter Files,” which have been made public in a number of episodes by several journalists.
With regard to the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the run-up to the 2020 election and outreach by the government, campaigns, and elected officials, such as the office of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who made suspension requests for specific accounts, some of the revelations revealed discussions by top Twitter executives about how to handle contentious issues.
Former Twitter employees who testified before Congress denied colluding with the government, despite Republican members’ fears about unethical coordination and the suppression of free expression.
Following revelations about its interactions with Twitter staff members regarding posts that may have violated the social media platform’s terms of service, the FBI issued a statement in December criticizing “conspiracy theorists and others who are feeding the American public misinformation with only the goal of trying to discredit the agency.”
The Federal Trade Commission is looking at the widespread layoffs at Twitter after Musk’s acquisition and whether the firm has the resources to preserve user privacy, in addition to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe into Musk. The Justice Department reportedly investigated Twitter, according to a lawsuit, The New York Times reported last week.