Elon Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed Twitter’s former security chief, Peiter Zatko, they disclosed in a court filing Monday, signaling that Mr. Musk may try to use Mr. Zatko’s accusations of false statements and security shortcomings at Twitter as part of his attempt to break off an agreement he made to buy the social media company for $44 billion.
Mr. Zatko, who goes by the nickname Mudge in the security community, said in a whistle-blower complaint to regulatory agencies and the Justice Department that Twitter had misled the public, and Mr. Musk, about its security practices. Twitter’s executives strongly rejected the claims, which came to light last week.
Mr. Musk and Mr. Zatko have both accused Twitter of fraud, but their allegations are not the same, the DealBook newsletter reports. Mr. Musk has said that Twitter’s public disclosures about the number of fake accounts on the platform — which he relied upon when he agreed to purchase the company — were misleading. Mr. Zatko has accused Twitter of years of “material misrepresentation and omissions” about security and privacy protections built into its platform.