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CFO Jimmy Patronis: If Twitter Won’t Fix Security Issues, Congress Should

10/12/2020

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 12, 2020
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis: If Twitter Won’t Fix Security Issues, Congress Should 
~CFO Provides Completed FDLE Report on Twitter-Hack to Congress~
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis provided to U.S. Senator Rick Scott a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) report of Twitter following a July 2020 hack of high-profile accounts, including Former President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian. The information from the FDLE report will support inquiries by the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, who recently voted to subpoena Big Tech CEOs including Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Protecting the citizens of Florida from fraud is one of my top priorities. As Congress has subpoenaed Jack Dorsey, this will be a great opportunity to hold his feet to the fire and determine whether Twitter has taken any steps to protect our global markets from something as simple as the bribing of mid-level management. Twitter has an incredible amount of power and their casual attitude towards security puts Florida families’ livelihoods at stake. I appreciate FDLE for their work in this report, and we’re providing it to Congress for their continued deliberations. If Twitter won’t fix their own mess, Congress should fix it for them.
 
“Thank you, Senator Scott, for holding big tech accountable. There must be strong protections in place to prevent scams, which could bring serious harm to our financial markets and our country, from occurring. Twitter clearly has work to do to regain the confidence and trust of its customers.”
 
See the letter from (CFO) Jimmy Patronis below and the FDLE letter here.
 
October 12, 2020

The Honorable Senator Rick Scott
United States Senator
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Scott:
 
RE: United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation subpoena to hold big tech CEOs accountable.

Twitter continues to be an extremely important way that businesses, organizations and individuals across the world consume and share information. As you know, authorities recently arrested a 17-year-old Tampa resident for allegedly conning people throughout the nation by perpetrating the “Bit-Con” hack of high-profile Twitter accounts. Immediately following the news of the hack, I requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigate Twitter and work with federal agencies to identify the state’s risk-level from the security breach.
 
In preparation for your hearing with big tech CEO’s, and as part of the congressional record, I have included the report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) which states, “This specific security breach, in which dozens of accounts were accessed and used without proper authorization, appears to be the result of a Twitter employee being bribed or coerced to give bad actors access to specific accounts.” This revelation is extremely alarming, and I am concerned of the potentially disastrous impacts to financial markets if leaders of publicly traded companies are targeted successfully by hackers. Clearly, Jack Dorsey is not taking security seriously which is especially concerning as we work to get Florida back on its feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you for your commitment to ensuring all Floridians are protected from online fraud and to making big technology leaders answer for their actions and failure to provide proper security for their customers.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer

Enclosures