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Twitter to subpoena Senator Elizabeth Warren over communications with U.S. agencies


U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is interviewed on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Twitter, which has asked a court to terminate a consent order struck last year with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to data breaches, said in a court filing on Thursday that it planned to subpoena Senator Elizabeth Warren in connection with the fight.

After billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter last year, the company laid off thousands of employees and drastically cut costs, prompting questions about whether it had the resources to comply with the FTC consent order.

Twitter asked last week for the consent order to be scrapped, accusing the FTC of bias and overreach in filings in federal court in San Francisco.

Warren was one of several Democratic senators who had urged the agency to investigate Twitter’s privacy policies in the wake of the layoffs and to consider enforcement actions against executives if appropriate.

The court filing on Thursday said the subpoena to Warren requested communications regarding Twitter or its owner Elon Musk between her office and the FTC, as well as her office and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Warren’s office and the SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The FTC declined comment. Twitter responded to a request for comment by sending a poop emoji, as is its standard practice.

In 2011, Twitter and the FTC reached the consent decree after two data breaches at the social media company, with Twitter agreeing at the time it would not mislead users about privacy protections.

Last year, Twitter agreed to pay $150 million in a settlement with the FTC and the Justice Department to resolve allegations that it misused private user information in order to target advertising.

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