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2022-09-23 09:11来源:VOA在线

  On the morning of September 23, Beijing time, it was reported that the "litigation war" between Elon Musk, the head of Tesla, and Twitter had taken a new turn. Previously, Twitter had paid $7.8 million in severance compensation to a "whistleblower". The judge said on Thursday that Musk could use the problems in this severance compensation as a reason for his withdrawal from the $44 billion Twitter acquisition transaction.

  After Twitter sued Musk, Musk quickly filed a counterclaim. On Thursday, Kathaleen St. J. McCormick, a Delaware judge in charge of the case, ruled that Musk could modify the content of the counterclaim and add information about Twitter's payment of severance compensation to whistleblower Peiter Zatko.

  Musk accused that Twitter did not obtain his approval when it paid Zatko severance compensation, which violated the acquisition agreement signed by both parties.

  In July, Twitter took Musk to court, hoping that the court would force him to buy the company for $54.2 per share. The trial of this lawsuit will begin on October 17 and last for five days.

  It is reported that the judge's ruling is quite favorable to Musk's side. This lawsuit war has aroused public concern. The court has issued a series of subpoenas, including the subpoena issued by Musk's lawyer to Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter. Previously, Dorsey strongly supported Musk's acquisition of Twitter.

  Zatko, the "whistleblower", used to be the information security director of Twitter. Recently, he reported many internal security problems of Twitter to the U.S. government. In particular, he mentioned that he had raised questions about the number of robot accounts and false accounts among Twitter users, but was ignored by the management.

  This month, Zatko attended a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee of the United States Congress. He said that the internal network security problems of Twitter are very serious, and even threaten the national security of the United States.

  In response to Zatko's report, Twitter said that this person had been fired earlier this year due to performance problems. In addition, Zatko's report on Twitter is full of "false descriptions" about the company, personal privacy protection and data security system, lacking important background information, and there are many inaccuracies and inconsistencies.

  Twitter has not officially commented on the judge's ruling on Thursday. Twitter lawyers did not object to Musk's request to add Zatko's severance compensation to the counterclaim.

  On Thursday, Judge McCormick said that as long as it is conducive to the trial of the lawsuit and has a factual basis, Delaware laws allow free modification of the content of the lawsuit.

  Musk originally planned to spend $44 billion to buy Twitter, but later changed his mind. He believes that there are a large number of robot accounts and false accounts in the 230 million total users of Twitter, but Twitter did not provide him with accurate information. Twitter retorts that this is just an excuse for Musk. After signing the acquisition agreement, Musk now begins to show "regret".

  At the beginning of this month, Judge McCormick approved that Musk could amend the petition and add the Twitter security issues mentioned by Zatko, such as computer security, personal privacy protection and robot accounts. However, Musk originally hoped that the court could postpone the trial, so that more whistleblowers could be found, but this request did not get the support of the judge.

  Zatko's report was also mentioned at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Lina Khan, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States, said that she was shocked by one of the contents reported by Zatko, namely, Twitter had signed an agreement with FTC on strengthening platform security and respecting user privacy in 2011, but Twitter misled the regulatory authorities on whether to comply with this agreement.

  Lina said that some companies take FTC's orders as suggestions, which is a serious problem. Now FTC has formulated a plan to take more strict measures. She also said that the agreement signed by Twitter and FTC in 2011 was a leftover issue, and FTC's team was ready to gradually abandon the agreement, develop a clearer regulatory system, and determine the detailed boundaries of the company's behavior.

  Sheng, an analyst, said Lina's testimony in the US Congress was not conducive to Musk. Musk could not use Twitter's non-compliance with the security agreement with FTC as a reason to cancel the acquisition agreement. The analyst said that Lina's words made it difficult for the presiding judge to say that "the subsequent FTC punishment measures will become a significant adverse impact on the acquisition agreement."

  In this case, Musk tried his best to emphasize that Twitter had not been transparent on robot accounts and false accounts. In addition, Twitter also had network security chaos reported by Zatko. These problems were enough to become "significant adverse effects" of changing the acquisition agreement. According to the laws of Delaware, Musk had the right to abandon the transaction.

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