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Testimony of Peiter Zatko regarding the social media site have made it even more urgent for legislators to control Big Tech.

Testimony of Peiter Zatko | Many of Silicon Valley’s most ferocious Capitol Hill watchdogs are now snarling. Following the arresting testimony of Twitter’s former security chief, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, lawmakers from both parties have stepped up their efforts to rein in the tech titans.

Zatko’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee comes from a detailed report he submitted late last month to the US Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. His allegations, the focus of yesterday’s hearing, range from lax security protocols to negligent leadership—all of which Twitter denies.

Even as senators were left fuming—I guess they don’t like Twitter’s 4,000 or so employees having easy access to their accounts and millions of others, as Zatko claims— there was a sense of renewal in the air at the Capitol.

After the hearing, Republican Senator Mike Lee told WIRED, “That was a fun one.”

The anger is partly cloaked in elation because many senators believe they have discovered the proverbial smoking gun.

“My guess is that this testimony today will result in a lot of class actions,” Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said after questioning the witness on Tuesday. “And it ought to.”

The Republican is referring to Zatko’s claim that the social media platform lacks basic security measures, such as tracking which of the company’s hundreds of engineers are making changes inside the platform. According to Zatko, this could include mining a United States senator’s personal account.

“I presume they have,” Kennedy said.

As a result, the snarling. Senators in the United States, like the rest of us, guard their personal information. And there is a growing consensus in Washington that the FTC is unprepared to take on social media behemoths who, according to Zatko, laugh off $150 million fines and all of the FTC’s demands on bad tech actors.

“Perhaps the best thing to do is put it in the hands of private litigants,” Missouri Senator Josh Hawley suggested. “Lawsuits are powerful things, so maybe it’s that we give the people who are getting doxed and hacked and whatever the power to go to court.” Then comes discovery.”

While senators intend to call Twitter officials to testify in response to the allegations made by their former executive, they do not appear to be waiting. Instead, Senator Hawley is now attempting to resurrect his out-of-the-box proposal to transfer the FTC’s technology portfolio to the Department of Justice. However, he is open to many reform proposals floating around Washington.

Hawley and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham are renewing their calls to repeal Section 230, a law passed by Congress in the early days of the internet that shields online companies from certain types of litigation for content users publish on their platforms.

“You must license the people.” Money appears to be unimportant to them. “Losing your ability to operate would be significant,” Graham explained. “So if you were licensed, you’d have something to lose.”

Graham has joined Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in calling for the establishment of a new federal regulatory body focused on technology companies. While both agree that the FTC is incapable of overseeing Silicon Valley, they disagree on Section 230, which Graham has long advocated for reform.

“Let’s put 230 on hold until we have a better structure for discussing an overall approach to the tech industry,” Warren said as she walked to her office.

Whistleblowers like Zatko are allowing Congress to finally lift Silicon Valley’s carefully manicured veils, which Warren welcomes.

“Congress is becoming more aware of the need for technology regulation,” Warren said. “The question is whether Congress will accelerate quickly enough to catch up.”

Because Congress moves slowly, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota claims that, despite the whistleblower’s illuminating testimony, lawmakers share responsibility for failing to provide better road rules for Silicon Valley.

“Why don’t we look in the mirror?” A federal privacy bill has yet to be passed by Congress. “Since the advent of the internet, we have yet to pass any competition legislation,” Klobuchar said at the Capitol.

Republicans accuse Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of stifling bipartisan legislation, including Klobuchar’s own antitrust bill, which has already passed committee but has never been brought to the Senate floor for a vote. Nonetheless, the Democrat defends her party’s leaders.

“No, this is on the Republican side as well,” Klobuchar said. “It’s just that we have to get this done.” It has to be prioritized. It’s difficult. It will take time to debate.”

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