In December of last year, Twitter sent emails out to a number of users, notifying them that they “may have been targeted by state-sponsored actors.” Twitter didn’t say which state, or why the attackers targeted these users. Several of those users have now signed onto an open letter asking questions about the incident.
The targeted users write:
We hoped to learn more by and by. Some of us sent inquiring emails to Twitter. We expected follow-up reporting by journalists who had read between the lines, had connected these alerts to other similar ones sent by different companies, or had talked to inside sources at Twitter.
Today, we are as clueless as when this started.
The letter, which has been translated into English, German, French, and Italian, lists 22 questions. Most of these deal with the time and manner of the attacks, going as far to request technical details. Other questions ask about the possible motivations of the attackers. One question asks whether Twitter’s silence since then is “the result of a gag order.”
Back in December, Twitter said the attackers may have been trying obtain “email addresses, IP addresses, and/or phone numbers,” but that there was no evidence the information had been acquired. The email notice that Twitter sent out included a link to both a privacy tool (the Tor Project) and a privacy guide, implying that the company believed that the attackers were trying to deanonymize someone.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.