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Computer crime defense attorney: whoever deactivated President's Twitter account could be charged

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Originally, Twitter called President Trump's account deactivation human error, then later said a Twitter customer support employee did it on his last day. Now the social media network has tweeted a new message. (KGO-TV )

Computer crime defense attorney: whoever deactivated President's Twitter account could be charged Originally, Twitter called President Trump's account de-activation human error, then later said a Twitter customer support employee did it on his last day. Now, the social media network has tweeted a new message.

"Update: We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again. We won't be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it."


"It looks like they had very bad internal controls over who could do what to people's Twitter accounts which should give pause to any Twitter user," said New York-based computer crime defense attorney Tor Ekeland via Skype.

Ekeland says the person responsible for disabling President Trump's Twitter account for 11 minutes may have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

"You could construe the President being unable to access his account as damage under the statute," said Ekeland.

RELATED: Contract employee identified as culprit for Trump's Twitter account disappearance

President Trump Tweeted "My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out and having an impact."

"You're talking about the Twitter account of the President of the United States who uses it to talk to 41 million people on a daily basis and this person probably could have tweeted whatever they wanted and maybe even started a war," said Ekeland.

Steve Gomez, Former FBI Special Agent in Charge and now ABC News Contributor says any disruption to the President's Twitter account could be disastrous.

RELATED: Internet reacts to brief disappearance of President Donald Trump's Twitter account

"We are dealing with issues with North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Isis as well," said Gomez.

A spokesperson with the US Attorney's Office said he could not confirm the existence or non-existence of an investigation into the President's Twitter account de-activation.

If charged, under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Ekeland says the person responsible could face up to 10 years in prison. Ekeland also says Twitter could sue the now former employee civilly, but might not want to because it could mean information about Twitter's security practices could come out.

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technologypoliticsu.s. & worldtwittersocial mediaPresident Donald Trumpdonald trumpWashington DCSan Francisco
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