The Senate Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan leadership pressed Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to answer questions about the social media platform’s allegedly poor security, following the public disclosures of a former executive.
Sens. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, wrote to Mr. Agrawal regarding allegations that Twitter failed to protect people’s data, suffered foreign intelligence infiltration, and misled government agencies.
The allegations come from disclosures to federal agencies from Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, Twitter’s top security official who was fired earlier this year.
“The disclosure paints a disturbing picture of a company that has fallen short of basic security standards in the technology industry, failed to adequately mitigate attempts by foreign governments to gain access to sensitive user information, and willfully misled government regulators,” the senators wrote in the letter on Monday.
The senators said Mr. Agrawal declined to testify at a judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday where Mr. Zatko is set to appear. Mr. Durbin and Mr. Grassley asked the Twitter CEO to supply information to help them assess the allegations by Sept. 26.
Following his departure from Twitter, Mr. Zatko alleged Twitter violated rules and laws and he submitted complaints to federal agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice.
Mr. Zatko reportedly agreed to a nondisclosure agreement with Twitter preventing him from speaking publicly but allowing him to file the complaints and talk to Congress. Twitter paid $7 million to Mr. Zatko as part of the agreement, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Twitter declined to comment on Tuesday regarding the senators’ letter. The company will have an opportunity to respond before Congress on Wednesday when a Twitter executive is scheduled to testify at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.