Monday Jan 30, 2023
Monday Jan 30, 2023

Twitter at its best tool to get a message


Nepalnews
AP
2022 Aug 30, 11:31, SAN FRANCISCO
The Twitter application is seen on a digital device Monday, April 25, 2022, in San Diego (AP)

 From fire departments to governments, from school districts to corporations, from local utilities to grassroots organizers around the world, Twitter at its best is a tool to get a message out quickly, efficiently, directly.

It’s also a constant risk-and-reward calculation.

A recent bombshell whistleblower report from Twitter’s former head of security alleges that the social media company has been negligently lax on cybersecurity and privacy protections for its users for years. While worrisome for anyone on Twitter, the revelations could be especially concerning for those who use it to reach constituencies, get news out about emergencies and for political dissidents and activists in the crosshairs of hackers or their own governments.

“We tend to look at these companies as large, well-resourced entities who know what they’re doing — but you realize that a lot of their actions are ad hoc and reactive, driven by crises,” said Prateek Waghre, policy director at the Internet Freedom Foundation, a digital rights nonprofit in India. “Essentially, they’re often held together by cello tape or chewing gum.”


Waghre said the allegations in the complaint about India — that Twitter knowingly allowed the Indian government to place its agents on the company payroll where they had “direct unsupervised access to the company’s systems and user data” — were particularly worrisome. He also pointed to an incident earlier this month where a former Twitter employee was found guilty of passing along sensitive user data to royal family members in Saudi Arabia in exchange for bribes.


The consequences of privacy and security lapses can range from inconvenience and embarrassment — such as when an Indiana State Police account was hacked and tweeted “poo-poo head” earlier this year — to much worse. In October 2021, a Saudi humanitarian aid worker was sentenced to 20 years in prison because of an anonymous, satirical Twitter account that the kingdom says he ran. It’s possible that the case is linked with the men accused of spying on behalf of the kingdom while working at Twitter.



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Saudi humanitarian aid worker royal family members in Saudi Arabia Internet Freedom Foundation cybersecurity
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