Jimmy Patronis: ‘If Twitter Won’t Fix Their Own Mess, Congress Should Fix it for Them’

This week, state CFO Jimmy Patronis called on Twitter to ramp up its security, sending a report to U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., on the matter.

Patronis sent Scott a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) report “of Twitter following a July 2020 hack of high-profile accounts, including Former President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian” which “will support inquiries by the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, who recently voted to subpoena Big Tech CEOs including Twitter, Facebook, and Google.”

Three weeks ago, the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously voted to have Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey; Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai who oversees Google; and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before it.

“The CEOs have not agreed to repeated requests to testify before the Committee on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which governs how online platforms moderate and display user-generated content,” noted the committee.

“Protecting the citizens of Florida from fraud is one of my top priorities. As Congress has subpoenaed Jack Dorsey, this will be a great opportunity to hold his feet to the fire and determine whether Twitter has taken any steps to protect our global markets from something as simple as the bribing of mid-level management. Twitter has an incredible amount of power and their casual attitude towards security puts Florida families’ livelihoods at stake. I appreciate FDLE for their work in this report, and we’re providing it to Congress for their continued deliberations. If Twitter won’t fix their own mess, Congress should fix it for them,” Patronis said on Monday.

“Thank you, Senator Scott, for holding big tech accountable. There must be strong protections in place to prevent scams, which could bring serious harm to our financial markets and our country, from occurring. Twitter clearly has work to do to regain the confidence and trust of its customers,” Patronis added.

“In preparation for your hearing with big tech CEO’s, and as part of the congressional record, I have included the report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) which states, ‘This specific security breach, in which dozens of accounts were accessed and used without proper authorization, appears to be the result of a Twitter employee being bribed or coerced to give bad actors access to specific accounts.’ This revelation is extremely alarming, and I am concerned of the potentially disastrous impacts to financial markets if leaders of publicly traded companies are targeted successfully by hackers. Clearly, Jack Dorsey is not taking security seriously which is especially concerning as we work to get Florida back on its feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Patronis wrote Scott.

From his seat on the committee, Scott supported having Dorsey and other business leaders testify before it though he was more focused on how they were treating conservatives.

“It’s no secret that tech companies have a history of unfairly censoring conservatives. Facebook is targeting conservative ads and putting ‘false information’ warnings on them based on information from known liberal media groups, like PolitiFact. This is about free speech, as protected by our Constitution. These companies are censoring free speech, and are picking and choosing which viewpoints are allowed on their platform. If they are going to act like publishers, and not a social media platform, they should be treated as such. We have to hold these companies accountable and protect the rights of Americans, and I’m glad we will have the opportunity to hear directly from these CEOs as to why they give terrorists like Maduro and the Ayatollah a platform, but censor Leader McConnell,” Scott said.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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