In a surprising turn of events, Twitter is grappling with a legal battle as Alan Rosa, the former head of security, filed a lawsuit against the social media giant, its CEO Elon Musk, and company adviser Steve Davis. Rosa alleges wrongful termination, citing his objections to Musk-led cost-cutting measures that jeopardized Twitter’s compliance with regulatory demands.
Alleged Wrongful Termination Amid Regulatory Concerns: The lawsuit contends that Musk appointed Steve Davis as an adviser with broad authority, leading to drastic cuts in Twitter’s products and services. These cuts, according to Rosa, hindered the company’s ability to comply with regulatory demands from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European Commission. Notably, Twitter had settled with the FTC a few months prior, resulting in a Consent Decree regarding the inappropriate use of users’ personal information.
Dismissiveness Towards Regulatory Decree: Rosa claims that both Davis and Musk displayed a dismissive attitude towards the Twitter FTC Consent Decree. Around the time of Davis’s appointment, a lawyer for Twitter posted a message on Slack encouraging employees feeling uncomfortable about the company’s actions to seek whistleblower protection.
Impact on Security Measures: The lawsuit outlines cuts that allegedly included applications crucial for identifying software vulnerabilities and Salesforce programs vital for responding to law enforcement information requests. Rosa objected to these moves, asserting that they compromised Twitter’s compliance with both the Consent Decree and the EU Digital Services Act. The former head of security reportedly brought his concerns to the company’s legal department.
Pressure to Cut Security Budget: Rosa further claims that Davis gave him a tight deadline to “cut the physical security budget by an additional 50 percent by midnight.” This move, Rosa argued, risked the company violating court orders to store hundreds of devices under litigation holds. The suit asserts that Twitter, following Rosa’s objections, promptly revoked his access and terminated his employment without reason or notice. His severance package was allegedly withheld pending an investigation into his conduct.
Mass Layoffs and Financial Struggles: The lawsuit occurs against the backdrop of mass layoffs at Twitter initiated by Musk, triggering an immediate lawsuit and what has been dubbed the “Musk-era ad-pocalypse.” As financial challenges intensified, Musk reportedly sought unconventional approaches, including selling company assets and not paying rent.
Legal Entanglements and Refusal to Pay for Arbitration: In a twist, Musk’s company compelled former employees to abandon wrongful termination lawsuits and enter into arbitration, which Twitter was obligated to finance. However, the company allegedly refused to uphold this commitment, prompting yet another lawsuit. Rosa’s legal action draws parallels with this case, citing it as a precedent for the alleged mistreatment he faced.
As the legal drama unfolds, Twitter finds itself entangled in a complex web of allegations, ranging from regulatory non-compliance to unjust termination practices. The lawsuit, if successful, could have significant implications for the company and its high-profile CEO, Elon Musk. South African readers keen on following this story should stay tuned for further updates on this developing legal saga.