Two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for Saudi Arabia

Two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for Saudi Arabia

MIT Technology Review·2020-08-14 13:13

The news: The US Justice Department has charged two men who used to work at Twitter with accessing personal information on critics of the Saudi Arabian regime, which they collected and passed on to Saudi officials, the Washington Post reports.

Who were they? Ali Alzabarah was a site reliability engineer who joined Twitter in August 2013. Over time, he gained more responsibility until he was able to access personal data—including phone numbers and IP addresses—as part of his job. He is accused of collecting information on more than 6,000 Twitter users, including dissidents and political activists, over the course of a few months in 2015. The other man, Ahmad Abouammo, was a media partnerships manager. He is accused of taking information from three user accounts, at least one of which belonged to an outspoken critic of the Saudi royal family. Abouammo received at least $300,000 from the Saudi government in return for his services, according to the indictment.

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