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It’s a natural musk, unfortunately

It’s a natural musk, unfortunately

Yesterday I did something I promised myself I wouldn’t do, which is talk about Elon Musk. I now find myself breaking that promise two days in a row to explain myself, because you might ask yourself, “What does Elon Musk have to do with security?”

It’s a good question! Tangentially a lot of things really. His Tesla model electric cars contain a full suite of modern security and monitoring features of course. I find myself yearning for a simpler time when that’s all I’d have to talk about. Now that he has control of Twitter however his security responsibilities have expanded to include the private data of 396.5 million Twitter users, give or take a few. It’s not a reassuring thought.

I want to be clear; I’m not endorsing the existing state of Twitter’s security posture whatsoever. I think we covered extensively in this article what dangerous and irresponsible nonsense was permeating Twitter before the buyout. I am also not shedding big crocodile tears for Parag Agrawal and his associates. There is no universe where getting paid tens of millions of dollars to quit working is a punishment. The rest of us should be so lucky to have that kind of security. What concerns me is all the other people who work for that company staring down unemployment in such an uncertain job market. More importantly it’s about who has hands on the account data for those 396.5 users.

Judging by the backing involved with the Twitter buyout the answer is Saudi Arabia. Not a surprising turn given that testimony from former Twitter employee Peter “Mudge” Zatko confirmed operatives from that country had made their way into the business. Someone should ask Agrawal how he feels about growing the office now? I’m sure he’ll dry his tears with all that money. What I’m trying to say is that if you value your privacy and the security of your information, you should have left Twitter a long time ago. When I’m done typing this, I’m going to post a link to it from my Twitter with a straight face.

Because that’s what Twitter and most social media amounts to now, a corporate PR and advertisement ghost town. There’s been some brave souls trying to keep social media platforms relevant through content generation or legitimate news coverage, but the well is dry. Musk may be putting the knife in Twitter’s heart, but it already had a terminal disease. Nobody wants to be on Twitter, or Facebook (Meta is a different blog…), or Reddit. TikTok is already becoming a platform for old people (and Chinese spies) and things like MySpace and Google + are already dead and buried. The internet is teething, and it is trying to break free of the milquetoast shiny corporate wrapper of industry it’s been bound in.

In the before times, groups congregated on message boards and platforms like IRC to talk about their interests or discuss current events. Musk, and frankly all current social media platforms envision a future where they aggregate all discussion and focus it like a laser to make themselves more money. What a boring pipe dream. The internet will slowly move back to its roots, tribal groups huddled in talk among themselves around a common fire. Without a public platform, support for the overt, and loudly racist discourse will fade into obscurity as its fire goes out. It should remain that way until some idiot gets the bright idea to make a hot-or-not program violating the privacy and security fellow college students again.

When that day comes, I hope that the security industry will have a more perfect solution to protecting user data, than it being left to the capricious whims of a rich man child with a face that looks like someone tried to draw it from memory.

Heck, maybe just give us an ignore button that works.


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