Alex Spiro, Musk's lawyer, reassured employees that they won't be personally liable if the company violates a 20-year FTC consent decree.
As employees have had to reckon with massive layoffs and general instability at the company, there have been fears that staff working on security and privacy could be in danger for violating the decree.
The company is responsible for it. The company is responsible for it. The company is responsible for it.
A company lawyer suggested that employees look into the protections for whistle blowers. They wrote in a chat.
I have heard another leader in the Legal department say that because of the tight SLA’s (of two weeks?!) between product inception > launch, Legal will “have to shift the burden to engineers” to self-certify compliance with FTC requirements and other laws. This will put huge amount of personal, professional and legal risk onto engineers: I anticipate that all of you will be pressured by management into pushing out changes that will likely lead to major incidents.
Spiro wrote in his email that the decree was only for people who work at the social media site. Only the company that is a party, and not individual employees, could be held responsible. The circumstances other than the FTC were not mentioned.
There are a number of factors that have made concerns about who might be liable higher. The lawyer wrote that the FTC could fine the company billions of dollars for violating the order, as well as the conviction of Joseph Sullivan, who was found guilty on a charge of obstruction of justice and one for misprision for covering up a massive data hack in 2016
The resignations of the chief privacy officer, chief information security officer, and chief compliance officer could make it harder for the company to adhere to the decree.
Spiro thinks that individual employees won't have to pay. Spiro said that there have been employees at the company who do not work on the FTC matter who have commented that they could go to jail if they were not in compliance. The company is responsible for it. The company is responsible for it. The company is responsible for it.
Elon — questions have arisen today regarding the consent decree in effect at the time you took over the company.
We have our first upcoming compliance check with the FTC since taking over and we will handle it.
The only party to the decree is Twitter — not individuals who work at Twitter. It is Twitter itself (not individual employees) who is a party and therefore only Twitter the company that could be liable.
I understand that there have been employees at Twitter who do not even work on the FTC matter commenting that they could [go] to jail if we were not in compliance — that is simply not how this works. It is the company’s obligation. It is the company’s burden. It is the company’s liability.
We spoke to the FTC today about our continuing obligations and have a constructive ongoing dialogue.
We will of course remain in compliance with the consent decree and the legal department is handling it and happy to answer any questions.