Tom Cotton Blasts Twitter for Not Working With the Intelligence Community

By NTK Staff | 11.01.2017 @1:01pm


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) blasted Twitter for working with America’s adversaries instead of working with the United States intelligence community during a hearing addressing Russian involvement in the 2016 election on Wednesday. Cotton explained how last year Twitter elected not to allow the CIA to use tweet-analysis firm Dataminr, while at the same time pitching […]

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) blasted Twitter for working with America’s adversaries instead of working with the United States intelligence community during a hearing addressing Russian involvement in the 2016 election on Wednesday.

Cotton explained how last year Twitter elected not to allow the CIA to use tweet-analysis firm Dataminr, while at the same time pitching Russian media companies RT and Sputnik on advertisements.

“At the same time, we learned Twitter was refusing to work with the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community, we also learned that Twitter was pitching Russia Today and Sputnik, propaganda arms of the Kremlin, to sell advertisements for profit,” Cotton continued. “Twitter was on the side of Russia as opposed to the national security interests of the United States.”

Cotton asked Twitter’s acting general counsel Sean Edgett to explain this decision.

“We work frequently and hard with law enforcement all the time. We do have global policies that prohibit the use of our data hoses or publicly available data around tweets for purposes of surveillance,” Edgett explained.

Edgett went on to say that Twitter treated RT and Sputnik as a “regular media organization, like BBC or NPR.”

“Do you consider RT to be a regular media organization?” Cotton asked.

“Obviously not now,” Edgett responded. Edgett then explained how Twitter applies the same policy towards the U.S. intelligence community as it does everyone else.

“So you will apply the same policy to our intelligence community that you apply to an adversary’s intelligence services,” Cotton asked.

“As a global company, we have to apply our policies consistently,” Edgett responded.

Cotton concluded his questioning of Edgett by stating that “most American citizens would expect American companies to put the interests of our country, above, not on par with, our adversaries.”

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