Twitter Files 9: Twitter's deep connections to CIA & DoD operations
Matt Taibbi does it again, releasing the ninth installment of the Twitter Files.
Matt Taibbi, the US journalist who originally published the 'Twitter Files', has added more information to the scandal with a recent installment on Christmas Eve.
Taibbi described the coordination between Twitter and governmental agencies as going far beyond coordination with the FBI as per recent posts.
In a massive series of tweets, Taibbi argued that the FBI was but a "doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA."
1.THREAD: The Twitter Files— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 24, 2022
TWITTER AND "OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES"
Twitter had so many conversations with "other government agencies" or OGAs, that the company couldn't keep up, according to Taibbi.
He explained, "Twitter had so much contact with so many agencies that executives lost track. Is today the DOD, and tomorrow the FBI? Is it the weekly call, or the monthly meeting? It was dizzying."
The coordination grew out of FBI connections: "On June 29th, 2020, San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan wrote to [a] pair of Twitter execs asking if he could invite an 'OGA' to an upcoming conference:"
Taibbi noted that it was an "open secret at Twitter that one of its executives was ex-CIA, which is why Chan referred to that executive’s ‘former employer.’"
He added that "one of the most common forums was a regular meeting of the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), attended by spates of executives, FBI personnel, and – nearly always – one or two attendees marked ‘OGA.’"
"Foreign matters" were what were usually discussed in the meetings.
But Taibbi added, "Despite its official remit being ‘Foreign Influence,’ the FITF and the SF FBI office became a conduit for mountains of domestic moderation requests, from state governments, even local police"
FBI's "Problem Accounts"
As of the OGAs weren't enough, Twitter was also flooded with requests from the FBI to deal with "problem accounts":
Before the 2020 election by 6 weeks, FBI agent Chan spoke to Stacia Cradille, a Twitter executive, regarding having identified more "Twitter handles which appear to provide misleading information." Describing this as unusual, Taibbi noted: "It seemed to strike no one as strange that a ‘Foreign Influence’ task force was forwarding thousands of mostly domestic reports, along with the DHS, about the fringiest material."
On October 1, according to Taibbi, one month after the presidential election, a Twitter executive described being left "waiting for more evidence" when it came to the US State Department's claims that Russia has influence.
This person admitted, "Our window on that is closing, given that government partners are becoming more aggressive on attribution.
The journalist concluded the latest edition of the Twitter Files by noting, "The CIA has yet to comment on the nature of its relationship to tech companies like Twitter. Twitter had no input into anything I did or wrote. The searches were carried out by third parties, so what I saw could be limited."
Part eight of the Twitter Files showed how the platform "directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations. Part seven showcased the FBI’s attempts to discredit information about Hunter Biden and his foreign business dealings.