Parts of Twitter’s source code were recently removed leaked online via GitHubthe New York Times reports, but were removed after the social media platform filed a DMCA request. The request, which GitHub has published onlinenotes that the leaked information contained “proprietary source code for the Twitter platform and internal tools.”
The NYT notes that the source code may have been public for several months before being taken down – the GitHub profile associated with the DMCA takedown lists a single (non-public) code contribution from early January. The name of the account is listed as “FreeSpeechEnthusiast,” in clear reference to Twitter CEO Elon Musk calling himself a “absolute freedom of expression” in the past.
Twitter has asked for the names and IP addresses of everyone who downloaded the code
Proprietary source code is often one of a company’s most confidential trade secrets. Making it public risks exposing the software’s vulnerabilities to potential attackers, and can also give competitors an advantage by being able to see non-public inner workings. Source code has been a common target for hackers in the past, including attacks on Microsoft and the Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Project Red.
In addition to asking GitHub to remove the code, Twitter has filed a lawsuit in California in an effort to find the person responsible and obtain information about other GitHub users who may have downloaded the data. Bloomberg reports that the filing asked the court to order GitHub to disclose users’ names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, social media profiles, and IP addresses.
A GitHub spokesperson did not respond to questions about whether it would comply with Twitter’s request for identifying information, and an email sent to Twitter’s official press address received an auto-generated poop emoji in response. (Twitter’s press service shut down shortly after Musk’s acquisition.)
According to the NYT, Twitter executives suspect an employee who left the company last year may be responsible for the leak. But that doesn’t exactly limit matters, as Musk laid off thousands of company employees shortly after taking control of the social media network. Fears that departing employees could try to sabotage the company on their way out have reportedly led Twitter to implement code freezes ahead of layoffs.
News of the leaked source code comes just days before Twitter will supposedly open up the source code.any code used to recommend tweetson March 31. But open source a recommendation algorithm like this (if it actually happens this time), will likely reveal much less of the company’s proprietary code than the recent leak posted on GitHub.
Twitter has been going through a turbulent time since being taken over by Musk last year. The CEO of Tesla, who paid $44 billion for Twitter last year but now says it’s only worth $20 billion, has sought to overhaul the social media network with an intense focus on cutting costs and building out new revenue opportunities, such as paid Twitter. Blue subscriptions. . But the service’s core reliability appears to have suffered, with several outages and interruptions in recent months.
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