New Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who has described himself as a “free speech absolutist,” is now threatening to sue his own employees who leak information to the press, according to an email he sent to workers reportedly leaked Saturday to a media organization.
Musk issued a message warning the company’s workers against leaking “confidential” information, and threatening to sue “for damages” those who violated non-disclosure agreements, according to the email obtained by tech outlet Platformer. Managing Editor Zoe Schiffer then distributed Musk’s message — on Twitter.
Musk asked staffers to sign a pledge indicating they understood his email, and said he expected a response by 5 p.m. Saturday, Schiffer said. She did not post the actual email in an effort to do everything possible to protect the source, she said.
It was a dramatic turnaround from Musk’s catch phrase “transparency is the key to trust,” and “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Musk could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last year, Tesla owners who tested a beta version of the automaker’s Full Self-Driving technology were asked to sign NDAs to block information critical of the software to the media and the public.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent letters to Tesla complaining about the software issues — and the NDAs.
“Given that NHTSA relies on reports from consumers as an important source of information in evaluating potential safety defects, any agreement that may prevent or dissuade participants in the early access beta release program from reporting safety concerns to NHTSA is unacceptable,” the agency wrote in one of the letters last year, Tech Crunch reported.