Elon Musk makes wild claim US government had ‘full access’ to Twitter DMs before his takeover

Musk claims he was shocked to find the extent of the government’s access on the platform

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 17 April 2023 10:23 BST
(RELATED) Elon Musk says buying Twitter was something that ‘needed to be done’

Elon Musk has claimed the US government had full access to everything on Twitter, including DMs, before he took over the social media platform.

In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Mr Musk claimed he was shocked to find the extent of the government’s access on the platform.

“The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on on Twitter blew my mind,” Mr Musk said in a clip of the interview posted on Twitter.

“I was not aware of that.”

The interview with Carlson is expected to be aired on Tuesday night.

In the excerpt posted on Twitter, Carlson asks Mr Musk if the US government’s access included users’ direct messages.

“Would that include people’s DMs?” Carlson asked Mr Musk.

“Yes,” he replied.

Earlier this month the White House came out in defence of American public radio broadcaster and publisher NPR, after Twitter falsely applied a “state-affiliated media” label to its handle.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the independence of NPR journalists, telling reporters on 5 April that the outlet’s journalists “work diligently to hold public officials accountable and inform the American people”.

In the interview with Carlson, Mr Musk also raised concerns around AI, saying the technology has the potential to destroy human civilisation.

“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance, or bad car production in the sense that it has the potential – however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial – it has the potential for civilizational destruction,” he said.

The Space X and Tesla CEO purchased the social media platform in October for $44bn.

Last week, Mr Musk merged Twitter with another entity called X Corp making it a part of his X Holdings Corp, which has been touted as the future parent company for all of his companies, including Neuralink, SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company.

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