The CEO of Tesla and space company SpaceX is not afraid to get involved.
Elon Musk is almost everywhere.
Not a day goes by that he doesn’t tweet. If it’s not news about one of his multiple companies — Tesla †TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc ReportSpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink — he posts on politics, geopolitics, or engages his millions of followers on a variety of topics, ranging from his moods to metaphysical questions like happiness.
Often the tweets are about his quarrels and enmities. In short, if Musk’s tweets aren’t about his companies, they’re about him.
For two months, since April to be exact, he has monopolized the headlines with his ongoing $44 billion takeover of Twitter. This takeover, which is expected to be completed by the end of October, has made him more political. It comes in the wake of its public support for Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia on February 24.
This overexposure to the media will not diminish, as Musk knows how to nurture it. It’s all the harder to ignore him because the billionaire is one of the main reasons Tesla’s stock market value hit $1 trillion last fall.
He is not only the CEO of the electric vehicle manufacturer, but also the chief product officer, the chief marketing officer and most importantly the spokesperson. For those who doubt it, Tesla stocks struggled as Musk shifted his time in April and May, especially over his bid to buy Twitter. Investors feared he would be distracted.
Musk’s importance to Tesla is equal to his importance to SpaceX. The rocket company is on a mission to bring humans to Mars. This bold ambition is based on Musk’s vision.
The richest man in the world has decided to use his platform to warn his millions of followers about another problem that concerns him. He has just revived a new concern of the CIA spying on American citizens, saying he would be surprised if he wasn’t spied on.
Musk fears he is being spied on
Musk tweeted a meme of sorts with the logo, the name of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the following message:
“Does anyone else feel like their (sic) is being watched?”
“You are,” replied tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who is accused of making millions from his Megaupload file-sharing service. “24/7 on all your devices and online services, including your own Starlink. In your case, it’s not just mass surveillance. You are a priority target. Welcome to the club.”
Musk confirmed this by commenting on the post.
“I’d be shocked if I *not* get spied on haha,” the billionaire said without saying what agency might be spying on him.
“My only question is that anyone spying on me, please don’t affect the call quality too much or I won’t be able to hear what’s being said!”
Musk has not provided any evidence to back up his claims, which some Twitter users have pointed out to him.
“Prove it’s a bad thing! I dare you,” said one user.
The CIA has not responded to requests for comment from TheStreet.
New accusations against the CIA
Notably, SpaceX has national security contracts, including launch payload for NASA, a classified spy satellite for the intelligence community, and national security payloads for the US military. Some missions may require Musk to have a security clearance.
In February, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico raised the alarm that the CIA is once again spying on Americans.
They claimed in a letter that the Agency has a secret, undisclosed database of information collected about Americans. While neither the agency nor lawmakers would release details about that data, the two senators say the CIA had long kept the details of the program hidden from the public and Congress.
Wyden and Heinrich, both Democrats, called for greater transparency from the CIA, including what types of records were collected and the legal framework for collection.
Information the intelligence community collects domestically has long been a source of concern, not least because of past violations of Americans’ civil liberties. The CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) have a mission abroad and are prohibited from investigating Americans or American companies under the CIA’s 1947 charter.
But the collection of foreign communications by US spy agencies results in the collection of US messages and data.
In 2013, NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the whistleblower’s existence and the existence of a data collection program known as PRISM using extensive internet and telephone surveillance by US intelligence agencies.
It was declared illegal by a court.
Last year, a government watchdog disclosed two CIA data-gathering efforts. Wyden and Heinrich claimed in February that the agency is likely to subject Americans again to unjustified searches.
The CIA released a declassified report on one of the programs in February but declined to release the other to protect “sensitive trading methods and operational resources,” the agency said.
“What these documents show is that many of the same concerns that Americans have about their privacy and civil liberties also apply to the way the CIA collects and handles information under executive order and outside of FISA law,” the two said. senators in a press release. In the press release, they quoted the letter sent to senior intelligence officials in April 2021.
“In particular, these documents reveal serious problems associated with unjustified backdoor searches from Americans, the same problem that has raised twofold concerns in the FISA context.”
Wyden and Heinrich learned about this program because they are members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. They urged top spy officials to release the details of this secret program.
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