Elon Musk has subpoenaed the Twitter whistleblower who last week accused the company of poor security practices, as he continues to fight to withdraw from his $$44 billion agreement to buy the social media giant.
Peiter Zatko filed an 84-page complaint to the SEC and other authorities claiming the company’s software is outdated, security is lapse, and—perhaps most important to Musk—it is falling behind in its fight against spam accounts.
Musk announced weeks ago he intended to walk away from his deal to buy Twitter, and argued that the company had misled him about the number of bot and spam accounts on the platform. Since then he has insisted that he won’t be buying Twitter, and Zatko’s complaints may present him with another way out of the deal.
The subpoena orders Zatko, who is a well-known hacker also going by the name Mudge, to produce a list of documents and show for an oral deposition in September. His complaint was made public last week and alleges that he “uncovered extreme, egregious deficiencies” by Twitter in every area of his mandate. The complaint also claimed that the company was “lying about bots to Elon Musk.”
Twitter denied all of Zatko’s accusations and said he was fired due to poor performance and leadership.
Twitter and Musk have sued each other over the stalled deal, and are to start a five day trial on October 17. An attorney for Twitter claimed that Musk’s complaint about bots is legally irrelevant as the figures provided to him about spam accounts were only estimates, not binding numbers. Twitter is looking to force Musk to conclude the deal.