Twitter questions whistleblower’s claims on India’s handling of Tharoor-led parliamentary panel

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Congress leader Shashi Tharoor-led Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology on Twitter on Friday made a strong inquiry over the disclosure of a whistleblower on its India operations. Officials of the social media platform were asked about data security and privacy. Twitter executives denied the whistleblower’s claims. However, according to a PTI report citing unnamed sources, the panel has termed the replies given by Twitter executives as “not satisfactory”. The parliamentary committee is currently working to prepare a comprehensive report on data privacy and security in the country.

Twitter’s top executive Samiran Gupta, Senior Director (Public Policy) and Shagufta Kamran, Director (Public Policy) were summoned on Friday before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, reports PTI. The meeting was scheduled from 4.30 am IST. Besides Tharoor as president, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, TRS MP Ranjit Reddy, BJP’s Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and CPI(M)’s John Brittas were also part of the panel.

The microblogging site was questioned about the revelations by the company’s former security chief Peter Zatko, with Twitter accusing Twitter of intentionally allowing the Indian government to place its “agents” on the company’s payroll. According to Zatko, the agents had “direct unsecured access to the company’s systems and user data”.

Company executives were also asked whether the data protection policies were in line with local policies. He was also asked how the company handles conflicts in the national privacy policies of different countries. According to the report, the panel is not satisfied with the replies of the executives.

Company officials dismissed Jatco’s claims. In line with Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal’s reaction to the revelations, the microblogging site called these claims a “false narrative”.


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