Elon Musk Cites Twitter Whistleblower in Attempt to Cancel Takeover Bid

Billionaire Elon Musk cited allegations by a Twitter whistleblower in a bid to terminate his takeover attempt of the social network, CNN reports.

Former Twitter security chief Peiter “Mudge” Zatko last week alleged that Twitter executives covered up the company's security problems.

Zatko claimed that too many employees had access to the company’s central controls and that the network has other security vulnerabilities that could be abused by foreign spies or hackers.

He also alleged that Twitter execs do not have the resources to measure the true number of bots on the platform.

The number of bots on the platform has been a key point of contention in Musk’s on-again-off-again bid to buy the company.

The company has claimed that about 5% of its users are bots, which Musk disputes.

Musk cites Zatko:

Musk in a letter to Twitter cited Zatko’s claims about the company’s security vulnerabilities and its alleged violations of a 2011 Federal Trade Commission order.

Musk alleged that the allegations breach Twitter’s side of their takeover deal that should allow him to pull out of the acquisition.

The letter argued that investigations that could result from the allegations could result in a “material adverse effect” that would allow Musk to exit the deal.

Musk previously cited skepticism about the company’s estimate of bots on the platform to accuse Twitter of being in “material breach” of multiple provisions in their contract.

Legal battle:

Twitter sued Musk in July, accusing him of breaching the deal himself and asking a Delaware court to force him to buy out the company.

The case is set to go to trial in October.

Twitter in a letter to Musk on Tuesday called Musk’s latest attempt to scrap the deal “invalid and wrongful.”

Musk’s letter "is based solely on statements made by a third party that, as Twitter has previously stated, are riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lack important context, the company said, adding that it "has not suffered and is not likely to suffer a Company Material Adverse Effect."


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