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Whistleblower claims Twitter is a risk to national security

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Twitter misled federal regulators about its defences against hackers and spam accounts, the social media company’s former security chief Peiter Zatko said in a whistleblower complaint

Shares of Twitter dropped sharply on Tuesday after the revelation of an explosive whistleblower complaint alleging the social media company misled federal regulators about its defences against hackers and spam accounts.

The disclosures come from Twitter’s former security chief Peiter Zatko, a famed hacker more widely known as “Mudge,” who has testified before Congress about the vulnerabilities of the internet in the past.

Zatko says “If you’re looking for computer security, then the internet is not the place to be.”

Zatko, seen in an interview with Reuters at the 2019 Black Hat cybersecurity conference, filed an 84-page complaint last month with multiple government agencies, alleging that Twitter falsely claimed it had a solid security plan and said he had warned colleagues that half the company’s servers were running out-of-date and vulnerable software.

The complaint, which was first reported by the Washington Post and CNN, was also sent to congressional committees.

A Twitter spokesperson said on Tuesday that Zatko was fired in January for “ineffective leadership and poor performance” less than two years after then-CEO Jack Dorsey appointed him to the role, and said his complaint was designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter.

The whistleblower complaint comes at a rough time for the social platform, as its embroiled in a legal battle with Elon Musk after he said in July he was ending an agreement to buy the company, alleging Twitter had violated the terms of the deal.

The world’s richest person has accused Twitter of hiding information about how it calculates the percentage of bots on the service.

The whistleblower complaint alleges Twitter prioritised user growth over reducing spam, offering executives massive bonuses for increases in daily users and nothing explicitly for cutting spam.

CNN reported that Musk’s legal team has subpoenaed Zatko, after the whistleblower disclosure was made public. The Tesla CEO could not be reached for comment.

This report produced by Chris Dignam, Reuters.

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FINALLY Twitter brings an edit button – but not for all

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Twitter is giving some users a much-needed edit button

The feature will be rolled out to Twitter Blue users in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

It follows a series of trials, which apparently went quite well.

U.S. tweeters will have to wait a little longer, with the company saying it is “coming soon”.

The ‘Edit Tweet’ function will allow people to make changes to their Tweet after it’s been published.

In a company blog post, Twitter says that users should think of it as a short period of time to fix things like typos, and add missed tags.

The tool will let users edit a tweet up to five times within 30 minutes of posting.

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Google shuts down its translation services in China

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Google has shut down its translation services in China

The tech giant believes there aren’t many users in mainland China. Instead, users are now being shifted to the Hong Kong service.

Speaking to The Hill, Google says it has struggled to gain support in China amid strong competition from local search engines.

It follows a 2018 decision to give the Chinese people the opportunity to view content, which has been restricted under the country’s strict government regulations.

But this never went ahead after local authorities and Google’s own staff criticised the move.

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Crowdfunding campaign buys tank for Ukrainian army

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Crowdfunding campaign in the Czech Republic has successfully raised more than $1.3 million to buy a modernised tank for the Ukrainian army

A crowdfunding campaign, dubbed “a gift for Putin”, received donations from over 11,000 individuals and is presumably the first purchase of its kind.

The fund was backed by the Czech defence ministry and Ukraine’s embassy in Prague.

As Vladimir Putin’s 70th birthday approaches, the defence minister of the Czech Republic joked his nation has “a great birthday present” for the Russian leader.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Prague says the gift is a concrete demonstration of solidarity and practical assistance from the Czech Republic.

The tank is a Soviet-era T-72. It has been modernised and named Tomas.

The Czech Republic has also sent a range of non-lethal military equipment, including night vision goggles and first-aid kits, to Ukraine.

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