Big corporations like Twitter and Google wield enormous power over those they disagree with, and in the age of Trump, it’s only gotten worse.
As Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared on his show last night, “the federal government is no longer the main threat to your privacy and to your freedoms. Big corporations are the main threat to your freedom and your privacy.” Carlson pointed out that “the government doesn’t own your private emails, Google does.”
A new Project Veritas undercover investigation seems to confirm Carlson’s point as it regards Twitter to an alarming degree. The social media platform is unfriendly to conservatives in general but positively hostile to President Donald Trump. And if one of their senior employees is to be believed, they may be voluntarily violating his privacy to provide his direct messages to the Department of Justice.
Project Veritas caught a “senior network security engineer” at Twitter admitting on tape that his company is “more than happy” to turn over Trump’s private communications and deleted tweets to “the DOJ,” presumably meaning Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Specifically, Clay Haynes, who has reportedly been employed by Twitter since September 2016, told the Veritas undercover journalist that “we’re more than happy to help the Department of Justice in their little investigation” of President Trump.
Haynes met with the Veritas undercover journalist at Stookey’s Club Moderne in San Francisco on January 3, 2018, Veritas was unable to confirm whether Twitter has been voluntarily offering this sensitive information or acting under a court order.
The self-described bleeding-heart liberal told the Veritas journalist that they give the DOJ “every single tweet that he’s posted. Even the ones he’s deleted, any direct messages, any mentions…”
He added, “he’s dangerous, I don’t like him and he’s a terrible human being and I want to get rid of him. In fact, we had internal reviews about that…”
Project Veritas founder and president James O’Keefe went undercover with Haynes himself on January 7, 2018, at Morton’s Steakhouse in San Francisco to try to confirm whether Twitter was really working with the DOJ to hand over Trump’s deleted tweets and DMs. If true, that would be big news.
15 mins. Here we go… pic.twitter.com/KnHt7tjirW
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 10, 2018
Haynes was coy about whether the company was flouting expectations of privacy. “We have a subpoena process for that very reason,” he said when pressed about snooping into Donald Trump’s messages.
“But yeah, we could absolutely look at every single message, every single tweet, whatever you log into, what profile pictures you upload, what profile pictures you thought you were going to do,” Haynes said. He added that the power they had over every single Twitter user was “actually very terrifying,” “very, very dangerous,” and “very, very creepy Big Brother-ish.”
You don’t have to have an overactive imagination to wonder who else they are doing this to.
O’Keefe asked Haynes if Twitter was currently working with DOJ on the Trump investigation.
“I can’t comment, and even if I knew, I wouldn’t comment,” he responded.
“The fact is, even if Haynes was just speculating about helping Justice, his admission shows a clear and dangerous political bias at the highest levels of Twitter,” O’Keefe said in the video.
“The question is: by Twitter giving private information about the president to the Justice Department, are they breaking the law, betraying a trust, following an official request, or satisfying a political agenda by leading a crusade against the president?” the accompanying article at Project Veritas asked.
This is only Part One of Project Veritas’ undercover investigation of Twitter. It’s the fourth installment of its “American Pravda” series.
A spokesperson for Twitter told International Business Times: “The individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent or speak for Twitter. Twitter only responds to valid legal requests, and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request.”
“We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative,” Twitter’s spokesperson said. “Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.”