Twitter shareholders back Musk’s $44B takeover bid as whistleblower says FBI warned of hired CCP agent

Twitter shareholders reportedly have green-lit the sale of the company to Elon Musk on Tuesday, the same day that a whistleblower testified before Congress about the alleged lax cybersecurity measures on the social media platform.

Espionage by CCP-controlled China might also allegedly be in play based on the revelations.

Billionaire Musk, who originally wanted to buy Twitter for $44 billion in the name of free speech but is trying to get out of the complex deal, is headed to a Delaware court showdown with Twitter starting on October 17.

Twitter wants the court to order the sale to go through. Musk has filed a countersuit alleging misrepresentation.

“Twitter shareholders approved the takeover offer, with 98.6% of votes cast at a special meeting in favor of the deal, based on a preliminary tally of votes, the company said after polling closed Tuesday. Investors were poised to approve the transaction, which is for $54.20 per share, by a wide margin based on early voting,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. “Twitter shares rose after the vote Tuesday and closed at $41.74.”

According to  CNET, however, “Musk’s flip-flop on purchasing the social network has created uncertainty about Twitter’s future. ”

As well chronicled, the quirky and visionary CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, became disillusioned with the transaction over the number of fake or bot accounts on Twitter.

Speculation has also emerged that he could be angling for a lower purchase price.

As BPR has previously reported, Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko (a.k.a. Mudge), the company’s former head of security, alleged via a complaint to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the social media company showed no interest in finding out how many bots were on the platform.

He also charged that Twitter couldn’t figure out how many bots were on the site even if it wanted to because it lacks the resources to do so.

Musk’s legal team has subpoenaed Mudge, who Twitter fired in January for what it claims are performance shortcomings, for the trial.

Mudge/Zatko told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in his opening statement before he was questioned individually that Twitter executives allegedly prioritized “profit over security.”

I am here today because Twitter leadership is misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators, and even its own board of directors. What I discovered when I joined Twitter was that this enormously influential company was over a decade behind industry security standards. The company’s cybersecurity failures make it vulnerable to exploitation, causing real harm to real people. And when an influential media platform can be compromised by teenagers, thieves, and spies, and the company repeatedly creates security problems on their own, this is a big deal for all of us….

 

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Zatko also reportedly revealed to the committee that “I had been told because the corporate security physical security team had been contacted and told that there was at least one agent of the MSS, which is one of China’s intelligence services, on the payroll inside Twitter.”

A Twitter executive was allegedly cavalier about the possibility of at least one foreign agent in the firm, Zatko claimed. “Well, since we already have one, what does it matter if we have more? Let’s keep growing the office,” that exec reportedly told the whistleblower.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Twitter said the hearing showed Mr. Zatko’s allegations were ‘riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies,’ a company spokeswoman said. She added Twitter’s hiring process is independent of any foreign interference and that it undertakes measures such as background checks, access controls and monitoring systems to safeguard data.”

The WSJ added that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal declined to testify at the same Capitol Hill hearing because of the pending litigation.

“If Musk loses the court battle, he could be forced to acquire Twitter, even if he doesn’t want it anymore, through a court-enforced merger,” Axios noted about the high-stakes trial.

“Twitter has argued Mr. Musk got cold feet after market conditions deteriorated. Last week, Mr. Musk got court approval to amend his suit to include aspects of Mr. Zatko’s assertions,” the WSJ indicated.

On the same day as the corporate and political developments, Musk claimed that his own tweets were being suppressed. The often-cryptic Big Tech mogul also tweeted an image of a “cyberwhistle” with some related text.

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