Elon Musk Says Government Access To Twitter ‘Blew’ His Mind
Elon Musk Twitter account private page seen on Mobile with Elon Musk in the background on screen.
(Photo Illustration by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk says the level of access government agencies had within the social media giant came as a massive shock to him.

The tech billionaire, who completed his takeover of Twitter roughly six months ago, made the comments in a new clip advertising an interview he did with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“The degree to which various government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on at Twitter blew my mind,” he said. “I was not aware of that.”

The short clip ends with Carlson asking if government access included direct messages, to which Musk replies, “Yes.”

Carlson’s verified Twitter account shared the clip on Sunday, generating buzz for the interview set to air on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Monday evening. The clip did not show whether Musk lists particular agencies.

The Twitter website currently states that private information will not be released to law enforcement “except in response to appropriate legal process such as a subpoena, court order, other valid legal process, or in response to a valid emergency request.”

Requests for the contents of communications, including direct messages, “require a valid search warrant or equivalent from an agency with proper jurisdiction over Twitter,” the website adds.

Already a technology industry maven with companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, Musk took over Twitter with the completion of a $44 billion purchase in late October. In the months that followed, Musk championed what has become known as “The Twitter Files,” internal company documents and communications that have been released across several installments by multiple journalists.

Some of the disclosures laid bare deliberations by top Twitter brass about how to handle hot-button issues, including the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the run-up to the 2020 election, and outreach by the government, campaigns, and elected officials, including the office of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) making suspension requests aimed at specific accounts.

While Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about unethical coordination and the stifling of free speech, former Twitter officials who testified before Congress denied there being collusion with the government.

The FBI released a statement in December, following revelations about its contacts with Twitter employees flagging posts that may have violated the company’s terms of service, pushing back on “conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”

In addition to a Securities Exchange Commission inquiry into Musk, the Federal Trade Commission is conducting an investigation focused on the large-scale layoffs at Twitter following Musk’s takeover and whether the company has sufficient resources to protect the privacy of users. The New York Times reported last week that a lawsuit claimed that the Justice Department also looked into Twitter.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Elon Musk Says Government Access To Twitter ‘Blew’ His Mind