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Twitter when employees act as spies for certain governments

An American of Egyptian origin has been found guilty of acting as a spy for the Saudi government. He is a former Twitter employee and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Several charges for the spy

Ahmad Abouammo, now 44, was allegedly recruited by Saudi government officials in 2014. He was tasked with collecting personal and confidential information on dissidents.

According to the information on the indictment, unauthorized access allowed this former Twitter employee to have the targets’ data. Among other things, the culprit could access the email address, phone number, IP address, geolocation information, etc.

He also allegedly deleted some information and closed accounts on demand. He was paid up to 300,000 dollars for these operations, and the payment was concealed with false invoices.

At the end of the trial in federal court in San Francisco, he was found guilty of acting as an agent for Saudi Arabia. Ahmad Abouammo was also found guilty of money laundering, forgery, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

A sentence of up to 20 years in prison

Ahmad Abouammo did not act alone. Another former Twitter employee, Ali Alzabarah, was allegedly recruited by government members to carry out similar operations. He was also recruited in 2014 after joining the bluebird network a year earlier.

This person worked as a spy for the Saudi government between 21 May and 18 November 2015. He is accused of spying on more than 6,000 Twitter accounts, and Saudi law enforcement had submitted emergency disclosure requests to Twitter for a few dozen of these accounts.

The US Department of Justice has also charged another Saudi national, Ahmed al Mutairi. He is believed to have ties to the royal family. Ahmed al Mutairi was an intermediary between the two former Twitter employees and Saudi government officials. The culprits face up to 20 years in prison.

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