Twitter CEO Elon Musk revealed that under Twitter’s previous management team, the federal government had direct access to the private direct messages (DMs) of all Twitter users.
“The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on on Twitter blew my mind. I was not aware of that,” Musk said in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“Would that include people’s DMs?” Carlson asked.
“Yes,” Musk replied. “Because the DM’s aren’t encrypted.”
🚨Elon Musk says government agencies had access to Twitter user DMs
“The degree to which various government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on at Twitter blew my mind”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 16, 2023
Musk said he is preparing to create a feature on Twitter that would give users the option of hiding direct messages with the hopes of prohibiting government interference. If the option is selected, “no one at Twitter can see what you’re talking about,” he explained.
During the interview, Musk warned that artificial intelligence (AI) could be dangerous, saying that the new technology could threaten civilization.
“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance, or bad car production in the sense that it has the potential — however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial — it has the potential for civilizational destruction,” Musk said.
#3 The Second Segment of Tucker Carlson's Interview with Elon Musk
"What's happening is they are training the AI to lie. It's bad. To lie and to withhold information. To comment on some things, to not comment on other things. But not to say what the data actually demands that it… pic.twitter.com/CZCfYRuVly
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) April 18, 2023
Musk argued that society should focus on the speed of AI development. He called for regulations to prevent any “catastrophic consequences” resulting from AI.
Following the increase in popularity of AI software such as “ChatGPT” and the AI-generated voices of politicians, celebrities, and other individuals, Musk created an alternative AI firm, “TruthGPT.”
Since owning Twitter, Musk vowed to expose the coordination between the social media company’s previous management and the federal government to moderate posted content.
In December 2022, Musk released “The Twitter Files,” granting journalists access to Twitter’s archives for reports, including what led to former President Donald Trump’s account suspension and the government’s role in censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Matt Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone journalist, reported that the decision to censor the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was made “at the highest levels” of Twitter. He also revealed how Twitter sought advice from government agencies before banning Trump’s account following the Capitol protests of Jan. 6, 2021.
In a separate report, Taibbi said the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in Twitter’s content moderation for years.
Since acquiring Twitter, Musk has emerged as one of the biggest “newsmakers” in the U.S. His decision to restore free speech on a platform seen to have a left-leaning ideology made Democrats and liberal media nervous.