Twitter shareholders vote in favor of planned takeover of Elon Musk

LThis vote, at 98.6% in favor of the transaction, consolidates the position of the social network one month before the opening of the lawsuit it launched against Musk to force him to honor his commitment.

At the beginning of July, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX had unilaterally terminated the contract signed at the end of April for the acquisition of Twitter at 54.20 dollars per share, or a valuation of 44 billion dollars.

But this election represents a meager consolation for the blue bird decried in public by a former senior official.

“Profits before safety”

Peiter Zatko, the former security chief of Twitter fired in January, detailed on Tuesday his report submitted to US authorities on serious security breaches. “Twitter’s management is fooling elected officials, regulators and even its own board of directors”he declared at the outset to the senators of the judicial commission.

“They don’t know what data they have, where it is, where it comes from and so obviously they can’t protect it”said the expert better known by his pseudonym, Mudge. “Employees have too much access (…) it doesn’t matter who has the keys if you don’t have locks on the doors”he noted.

The 51-year-old computer scientist, recruited at the end of 2020 after a spectacular hacking of certain profiles, claims to have tried to alert the group’s senior officials, in vain. “They don’t have the skills to understand the extent of the problem”he asserted. “Most importantly, their executive bonuses encourage them to put profits before safety”.

This remark “is invalidated in part by its admission that Twitter is a valuable service”commented Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg. But Mudge’s allegations still hurt “like Twitter, which has made the safety and security of its users a priority”she added.

At the end of August, the revelation by the press of the report of the whistleblower, highly respected in the cybersecurity community, had the effect of a bomb. Twitter dismissed these accusations as unfounded, but they came at a good time for Elon Musk.

The one who wanted for a time to make the platform a public square “essential to democracy” believes that the San Francisco-based company lied to him about the proportion of automated and spam accounts among its users. In his opinion, it would greatly exceed the 5% estimated by the management of Twitter.

Peiter Zatko directly addresses in his report the questions posed by the Tesla boss about bots. It mentions statements “misleading” of Parag Agrawal, the head of the network, and asserts that the tools of Twitter are “obsolete”its teams “overwhelmed” and “ineffective”.

Claims that Elon Musk’s lawyers will try to use to their advantage during the trial scheduled for mid-October in a specialized court. For Wall Street, Zatko’s Senate testimony puts more pressure on Twitter campWedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives tweeted.

In its press release on the shareholder vote, the Californian group assures “continue to believe that the purported termination of the repurchase agreement is invalid and unfounded”.

“I did not make my whistleblower disclosures out of malice or to harm Twitter”Mudge assured senators on Tuesday. “Given the real damage to users and national security, I decided it was necessary to take the personal and professional risk, for me and my family, to raise the alarm”, he pointed out.

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