Twitter CEO Elon Musk recently claimed in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the U.S. government had access to the private messages of all Twitter users.
The Hill reports that Twitter CEO Elon Musk shockingly asserted that the U.S. government has “full access” to users’ private direct messages on the social media platform during a recent in-depth interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The multibillionaire businessman talked about his grave concerns regarding the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on the future of humanity while expressing his shock at learning the extent of government surveillance.
Elon Musk tells Tucker Carlson that federal government agencies had access to people’s Twitter DMs.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 16, 2023
Musk discussed his response to learning that the government had access to Twitter during the conversation. “The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on on Twitter blew my mind,” Musk told Carlson. “I was not aware of that.” Carlson pressed Musk on whether this also applied to direct messages, and Musk responded with a firm “Yes.”
Musk, who recently founded the artificial intelligence firm X.AI, went into more detail about his concerns with regard to the most recent advancements in AI technology. He emphasized that AI is far more dangerous than problems like poorly managed aircraft design or production maintenance, or subpar car production, and that it has the potential to destroy civilization. Musk went on to explain his perspective, stating, “It has the potential — however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial — it has the potential for civilizational destruction.”
The entrepreneur also provided a cautionary note on the rapid advancements in AI: “The pace at which AI is developing is something that society should be paying close attention to. It’s crucial that we establish regulations and guidelines to prevent any catastrophic consequences.”
The interview also focus on tensions between Musk’s Twitter and National Public Radio (NPR), a non-profit news organization. In response to Twitter’s addition of a “state-affiliated media” label to a number of media outlets that receive some public funding, NPR declared last week that it would cease posting on the social media site.
The “state-affiliated” label was later removed from Twitter, and it was replaced with “government funded” following widespread criticism of the move. NPR’s independent news organization status was defended by White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, who said: “If anyone were to follow their coverage, it is clear that they are indeed an independent news organization. Their journalistic integrity and commitment to unbiased reporting are a testament to their independence.”
Musk’s revelations about government access to Twitter users’ direct messages and warnings about AI’s potential dangers highlight the need for ongoing discussions about privacy, technology, and its effects on society.