Twitter CISO flies the coop
As social media giant grapples with Musk takeover, a safe pair of hands reaches for the door
Troubled social media giant Twitter has lost the services of its chief information security officer to cap off another chaotic week following its acquisition by Elon Musk.
Lea Kissner used their former employer’s platform to post: “I've made the hard decision to leave Twitter. I've had the opportunity to work with amazing people and I'm so proud of the privacy, security, and IT teams and the work we've done.”
They later posted, “I've loved this job and we got *so* much done, but here we are.”
Chief privacy officer Damien Kieran and chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty are also said to have exited. And, separately, it's reported that the world's richest man has told Twitter staff that work-from-home is banned, and that tweeps need to work 40 or more hours a week from the office from now on.
Twitter, SpaceX and Tesla supremo Musk closed the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform at the end of October, after first bidding for it in April.
Having spent months in legal wrangling trying to pull out of the deal, Musk took to the helm with undeniable, if chaotic, zeal. His tenure has so far included the firing of half the workforce before he was apparently forced to re-hire individuals who had been laid off by mistake.
He has also tweeted, then denied tweeting, fake news on the platform he said he would cleanse of misinformation.
This week saw the Twitter "Official" label show up on the platform as a way to fix an arguably unbroken verification system, only to apparently disappear from many accounts within hours.
The gray "Official" label was announced as a way to differentiate verified accounts from Twitter Blue subscribers, all of whom get the formerly exclusive blue check mark. People and organizations with verified blue checks before Musk took over are also set to lose them within months unless they subscribe to Twitter Blue.
- I'm happy paying Twitter eight bucks a month because price isn't the same as value
- Musk sows chaos with Twitter Official policy
- Musk sells $3.95 billion in Tesla shares, paid eleven times more for Twitter
- Twitter begs some staff to come back, says they were laid off accidentally
Meanwhile, the ability of nefarious individuals to spoof well-known personalities and brands using the new paid-for blue tick policy has reared its ugly head again.
Advertisers are unlikely to be assured at the sight of a seemingly verified but spoof Nintendo account displaying a Mario brother giving the middle finger to twits, even if @nlntendoofus is now suspended.
Kissner has worked in security, privacy and engineering roles at Apple, Zoom and Google. Perhaps the latest week of Twitter chaos was one too many to bear. ®
An internal legal memo leaked from within Twitter, and reported by The Verge, has suggested Musk is willing to risk regulatory fines and more to recoup his multi-billion-dollar losses on Twitter by monetizing the site and app more and more. "Elon puts rockets into space, he's not afraid of the FTC," one of the Tesla tycoon's top aides is said to have told tweeps.
This would be a reference to agreements between Twitter and the US watchdog that the web biz has full measures and safeguards in place to preserve people's privacy after multiple prior lapses in data protection.
The author of the memo, a lawyer at Twitter, encouraged fellow tweeps to seek whistleblower protection.
Meanwhile, the FTC said in a statement it has "deep" concerns about Twitter right now.