Twitter CEO Elon Musk sat down with Fox News host Tucker Carlson and, in a preview for the two-night interview the billionaire, revealed the startling amount of access the government had that begged the question, “Would that include people’s DMs?”
Since Musk’s successful acquisition of the social media company, greater detail has been provided about the extent to which agencies like the FBI had been working with Big Tech to essentially control certain information through censorship and suppression. Congressional testimonies and the “Twitter Files” had yet to provide the extent of “full access” as the clip of the interview premiering Monday teased what “blew [Musk’s] mind.”
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 16, 2023
“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,” the “Chief Twit” stated.
“Would that include people’s DMs?” Carlson asked referring to direct messages between users, meant to be private.
Matter-of-factly, Musk confirmed, “Yes.”
Earlier revelations about the extent of Big Tech’s collusion with the federal government compiled in the “Twitter Files” were a major component of the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee launching hearings in a Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Journalist Matt Taibbi had been one of the individuals granted access to inform the public on that matter, and during his testimony in March, he delved further.
“What we found in the Files was a sweeping effort to…use machine learning and other tools to turn the internet into an instrument of censorship and social control,” he explained. “Unfortunately, our own government appears to be playing a lead role.”
“We learned Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies developed a formal system for taking in moderation ‘requests’ from every corner of government: the FBI, DHS, HHS, DOD, the Global Engagement Center at State, even the CIA,” Taibbi went on. “For every government agency scanning Twitter, there were perhaps 20 quasi-private entities doing the same.”
For his efforts to reveal the full scope of what the federal government was doing, the journalist was rewarded with a suspiciously timed visit from an IRS agent knocking on his door claiming his 2018 and 2021 tax returns had been rejected while he was testifying before Congress.
IRS showed up at home of Twitter files journalist Matt Taibbi the day of his testimony to Congresshttps://t.co/MzGUlmFA4T
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 28, 2023
Musk himself reacted to the news by tweeting “That’s very odd.”
While it remains to be seen what other details the tech mogul had provided Carlson about the government snooping on presumably private conversations, the revelation came on the heels of a document leak that raised doubts about the government’s ability to maintain its own secrets.
As previously reported, Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira had been arrested after he allegedly leaked documents to the public — some of which detailed US efforts to spy on the Russian and Chinese military. Others contained details about the Chinese spy balloon that the government permitted to fly over the United States that suggested they had been gaslighting the public by downplaying the security risk.
Likewise, President Joe Biden has been embroiled in his own classified document scandal after troves of files from his time as vice president and senator had been located at his private residence and in office space he used as a private citizen.
The two-part interview is set to air on Fox News Monday and Tuesday night.
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