Twitter employed a Chinese spy, putting private user data at risk

A member of China’s intelligence services, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), was an employee of Twitter, according to testimony from a whistleblower appearing before Congress today. The whistleblower also testified that the company doesn’t care about having foreign spies working within its walls, with one executive telling him: ‘Well, since we already have one, who cares if we have one? more ?”

Peiter Zatko, who until recently was Twitter’s chief security officer, also said there were concerns within the company that the Chinese government could collect data on users of the platform while that he was looking for business from Chinese advertisers.

Parag Agrawal, CEO of Twitter (Google Cloud/YouTube)

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 01: Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) honor guard escorts the Chinese national flag during a flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square on Army Day China on August 1, 2022 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

(Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

In his testimony, Zatko revealed that he heard about a Chinese intelligence agent on the company’s payroll a week before he was fired from the company.

By Reuters:

Zatko said on Tuesday that in the week before he was fired from Twitter, he learned that an agent of China’s Ministry of State Security, or MSS, an agency comparable to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, was on the payroll of Twitter.

It was not immediately clear if the alleged Chinese agent was still working at the company.

In his testimony, Zatko said he recalled a conversation with another Twitter executive about concerns about the presence of a foreign agent at the company. The executive replied “Well, since we already have one, what does it matter if we have more?”

Chinese espionage inside US issues remains a major threat to US security, with Chinese operatives and hackers focusing particularly on stealing US intellectual property. In 2019, the FBI had nearly a thousand open cases of Chinese intellectual property theft. A recent report revealed that Chinese hackers have stolen billions of dollars worth of intellectual property from multinational corporations.

News of a Chinese agent at Twitter comes just over a month after a former employee of the company was convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia.

Allum Bokhari is Breitbart News’ Senior Technology Correspondent. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


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