Inserting surveillance into the heart of Twitter

Here’s a story that’s received too little attention recently (via MintPress News):

The social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) is working with an Israeli tech firm to verify BlueTick subscribers, raising suspicions that personal data could fall into the hands of the Israeli government or private sector, both of whom have a long history of illegally stealing user data, including from X itself, and spying on both allies and adversaries.

I was interviewed about this by the outlet’s journalist Jessica Buxbaum:

Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist and author of The Palestine Laboratory, a new book on Israeli technology exports, says that X’s verification process will normalize Israeli surveillance tech. In a press release, Loewenstein said:

“The worldwide spread of surveillance tech, often built by veterans of the Israeli intelligence service who have spent years monitoring Palestinians under occupation, is a threat to democracy across the globe. In an age of rising ethno-nationalism, from India to Hungary to Israel, it’s vital to ask critical questions about the source and pedigree of any Israeli digital company.”

Loewenstein emphasized that more needs to be known about the verification measures. How secure is the information? Where will it be stored, and who has access to the data? “These are all legitimate questions, and especially because in the last five years, there’s been a number of really disturbing cases of Twitter bad state actors getting access to delicate information,” Loewenstein told MintPress News.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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