According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Twitter paid Peter Zatko $7 million to try and stop him from filing a lawsuit. This will probably not be enough.
7 million dollars for Zatko’s silence
This agreement between Twitter management and Peter Zatko was reached days before the former head of security filed a complaint in July. Peter Zatko was fired in January, and $7 million was officially paid as “compensation for lost wages.” Such trades are not uncommon when an executive leaves the company prematurely and relinquishes shares. However, this release is troubling given the context.
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After agreeing to raise the €7 million sum, Petiter Zatko signed a non-disclosure agreement that forbade him to publicly talk about his time on Twitter or demean the company, interviewees said. Congressional hearings and government whistleblower complaints are two of the few times he is allowed to speak openly.
The former Twitter security chief is due to testify Tuesday, Sept. 13, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss his allegations of Twitter security breaches.
Has nothing to do with Elon Musk’s accusations?
Since this complaint was made public, Peter Zatko has become a central figure in the legal battle between Elon Musk and Twitter. The whistleblower said he “found Twitter’s extreme and egregious failures in all areas of its mandate, including privacy, digital and physical security, platform integrity, and content moderation.” However, according to Twitter, Zatko was fired for “poor leadership and poor performance.”
The social network also believes that her complaint is full of inconsistencies and inaccuracies and “lack of context.” During negotiations with Twitter in the spring of 2022, Peter Zatko reportedly increased his request for compensation by five times. John Tai, founder of Whistleblower Aid, an organization that helps whistleblowers file complaints, said Peter Zatko contacted the nonprofit in early March.
He explained that the former Twitter executive never met or spoke with Elon Musk, despite Tesla’s boss’ accusations. The billionaire’s team also did not contact the association about the complaint by Peter Zatko.