Twitter Urges Court to Terminate FTC Oversight: A Call for Independence and Self-Regulation

**Twitter Seeks to End FTC Order on Data Security Practices**

Twitter has filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to end an order imposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that restricts its data security practices. The FTC has been monitoring the company since 2011, when Twitter agreed to a consent order alleging significant data security lapses. However, the agency’s concerns escalated following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter on October 27. Twitter is now seeking relief from the consent order and a protective order from the court.

**FTC Investigation into Musk’s Mass Layoffs at Twitter**

In March, it was revealed that the FTC was investigating Elon Musk’s mass layoffs at Twitter and attempting to obtain his internal communications as part of ongoing oversight into the company’s privacy and cybersecurity practices. According to documents mentioned in a congressional report, the FTC’s scrutiny intensified after Musk’s takeover of the social media platform.

**Twitter’s Penalty for Violating the Consent Order**

Twitter paid a $150 million penalty in May 2022, a few months before Musk’s takeover, for violating the 2011 consent order. An updated version of the order introduced new procedures, including the implementation of an enhanced privacy-protection program and strengthening information security.

**Twitter’s Motion for Relief from the Consent Order**

Twitter, now known as X Corp., has filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking relief from the consent order imposed by the FTC. The filing argues that the FTC’s investigation has become biased and out of control, and the consent order no longer serves any proper equitable purpose.

**Increase in Demand Letters from the FTC since Musk’s Takeover**

The filing states that the FTC has issued 16 demand letters to X Corp. since Musk’s takeover, compared to approximately 28 demand letters over a period of more than a decade when the FTC oversaw Twitter’s compliance with the previous consent order.

**Seeking a Stay to Prevent Deposition of Musk**

The motion also requests a stay that would prevent the FTC from deposing Elon Musk. Twitter argues that Musk is not a party to the consent order and the FTC’s demand to depose him represents an overreach.

**Hearing Date and Possibility of Rescheduling**

While a hearing date is scheduled for August 17, the filing notes that the court may order a different date and time for the hearing.

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