Twitter backed down on how it deals with hacked material over the NY Post Hunter Biden story, and experts say the new policy is ripe for exploitation

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Twitter’s new rules on how it polices hacked materials could leave a “yawning gap” for hackers to exploit, a cybersecurity expert told Business Insider.

Twitter announced two changes to its rules on “Hacked Materials” on Thursday, after its decision to block users from sharing a contested New York Post story about Joe and Hunter Biden provoked uproar.

First, it will no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or people “acting in concert” with them.

Secondly, instead of blocking links to hacked materials, it will add context labels to Tweets.

Professor Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey, told Business Insider hackers may have plenty of room to exploit the new boundaries.

“The danger seems to be that hacked material could easily be leaked by a third party who could at the very least be sympathetic to the hackers. By reserving the ban to hackers and those acting in ‘concert’ with the hackers it leaves a yawning gap that is bound to be exploited,” he said.

“By having this fudge, Twitter are also giving themselves the ability to use their discretion: It is they who will decide who is acting in concert with the hackers. I think the intention is good but as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” he added.

Professor Eerke Boiten of De Montfort University agreed that the wording of the policy is too vague, given the reality of how hacked materials spread online.

“Who would be seen to be ‘acting in concert with hackers’ is an obvious unresolvable debate in these days of conspiracy theories and unsavoury entanglements of politics and media,” Boiten said.

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A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment on these concerns when contacted by Business Insider.

“I do wonder if this could be the worst of all worlds”

Woodward said he thought the second part of the policy could be a good idea — but added that it relied on Twitter’s own judgment. “I do like the idea of labelling Tweets if they are suspect in any way. At least that allows readers a degree of calibration. However, the same point applies: it is Twitter who decides which Tweets to label,” he said.

“Clearly the previous ban on all hacked material, regardless of who shared it, raised some political eyebrows, but I do wonder if this could be the worst of all worlds, not the best of both as I suspect Twitter hopes,” Woodward said.

Twitter changed its policy after running into a political minefield over a New York Post article.

The article claimed to have obtained emails from Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden showing he corresponded with Ukrainian officials. Doubts were quickly raised about the Post’s sourcing and reporting, and both Twitter and Facebook limited users from sharing the article.

Twitter specifically stopped users from sharing the link to the article, saying it violated the platform’s “Hacked Materials Policy.” Under the new rules set out on Thursday that would no longer apply, as the New York Post article would not …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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