New ‘Twitter Files’ detail FBI’s relationship with company leadership

FBI agent
An FBI agent. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

New ‘Twitter Files’ detail FBI’s relationship with company leadership

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The latest release of internal Twitter documents released by allies of new owner Elon Musk details the conversations and interactions the FBI and Twitter’s leadership had in the lead-up to the 2020 election and the platform’s censoring of the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

The FBI maintained constant contact with Twitter, to the point of sharing temporary top-secret security clearances, according to the latest release of what Musk allies are calling the “Twitter Files,” this time from author Michael Shellenberger. The company also had several ex-FBI members on staff and had open channels to communicate with the agency in the weeks before the 2020 election.

The FBI opened a “virtual war room” with Twitter in September 2020 to handle election misinformation. The channel was a one-way communication from the FBI to Twitter and included representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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Some of this information included the FBI forwarding documents related to the Russian hacking group APT28, which former Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth claims the New York Post story made him think of.

Roth initially concluded that the New York Post story did not violate the company’s policy on hacked materials but appeared to shift his opinion after former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who was working as Twitter’s counsel, said the documents were either faked or hacked. Baker had multiple meetings and calls with FBI officials that led him to conclude the laptop was not real.

All of these decisions were made as Twitter was facing increased pressure from the intelligence community.

“We have seen a sustained (If uncoordinated) effort by the [intelligence community] to push us to share more info & change our API policies,” Twitter Director of Policy and Philanthropy Carlos Monje told Roth in a Jan. 2, 2020, email. “They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff).” Roth repeatedly told FBI officials in 2020 that they would not be allowed access to Twitter’s internal data because of company policies prohibiting the use of its data for intelligence-gathering.

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The Twitter Files have detailed Twitter’s internal communications regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop and the “pervasive” relationship between the FBI and Twitter. The documents also arrive as Musk asks users if they want him to leave. The majority of users voted for Musk to leave the company.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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