Edited By: shaurya sharma
Last Updated: January 25, 2023, 15:29 IST
For the past three months, Elon Musk’s leadership of Twitter has been met with intense scrutiny due to a variety of changes—including large scale layoffs and the introduction of paid verification through Twitter Blue, but now, a recent whistleblower complaint filed with the FTC alleges that Twitter engineers possess the capability to tweet from any account—using a developer function called ‘GodMode.’
According to The Washington Post, Twitter engineers, even today, after Musk’s takeover, have the ability to activate a program that enables them to tweet from any account, and as per the recently filed report with the FTC, “Twitter does not have the capability to log which, if any, engineers use or abuse GodMode.”
More simply put, the complaint says that Twitter can access your account—at any point of time—without any consent.
The report further adds that under Musk’s leadership, conditions have deteriorated instead of improving. And, notably, this isn’t the first time that the company has faced this allegation—Twitter has been accused of violating the 2011 FTC consent decree by former security chief, Peiter Zatko, in a previous whistleblower complaint. He stated that the company has thousands of employees with “wide-ranging and poorly tracked internal access to core software,” which has led to major hacks—including those of Elon Musk himself and former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
The newly filed FTC complaint also alleges that the ‘GodMode’ code, also internally referred to as ‘privileged mode,’ is still accessible to any engineer who wants it, and they only need to change one line of code from ‘FALSE’ to ‘ TRUE’ and run it from a production machine via a commonly used protocol called SSH.
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