Elon Musk, who controversially took over Twitter, is said to be paranoid about being sabotaged by disgruntled employees. Recent events may have proven his suspicions to be correct as an internal investigation is underway to identify an individual who leaked parts of Twitter’s source code online.
The New York Times reported that Twitter filed a document with the US District Court for the Northern District of California and sent a copyright infringement notice to GitHub, where the code was posted.
Fortune obtained a request filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by an anonymous Twitter staff member asking for the removal of “proprietary source code for Twitter’s platform and internal tools” from GitHub.
The request does not include any information about the person who posted the code, but it provides a URL link to a profile named “FreeSpeechEnthusiast” in a public space on GitHub. This name may be a jab at Twitter’s CEO, who has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has claimed to tolerate threats to his safety in the name of free speech.
However, the DMCA request suggests that Musk is taking copyright infringement seriously and is conducting an internal investigation to identify the person responsible.
The DMCA request to GitHub also requests “copies of any related upload/download/access history (and any contact info, IP addresses, or other session info related to same), and any associated logs related to this repo or any forks thereof, before removing all the infringing content from Github.” GitHub did not confirm whether it provided this information to Twitter, nor did it confirm how long the source code had been online.
According to the New York Times, Twitter also subpoenaed the district courts to compel GitHub to release information. The federal court filing, submitted by Julian Moore, Twitter’s director of internal legal affairs, states that the post contained “proprietary source code for Twitter’s platform and internal tools.”
The leak of the code may have severe consequences, as per sources familiar with the investigation. Executives are worried that it could be used to exploit security vulnerabilities, causing data breaches and site takedowns.
The leaked code may also expose the company’s inner workings to competitors. The individual who posted the code is believed to have left the company after Musk’s takeover, but this doesn’t narrow down the suspects much with around 75% of Twitter staffers either resigning or being laid off since the SpaceX founder took it over.
Musk’s cost-cutting measures at Twitter have led to layoffs, including the elimination of the communications team. Twitter’s value has fallen by more than half since Musk took over, and he has urged employees to return to the office.
Twitter under Musk has reportedly eliminated its communications team, and under a new policy, Fortune received a ? emoji back when it approached the company for comment.