2 Former Employees Of Twitter, Of Spying For Saudi Arabia Accused

2 Former employees of Twitter, of spying For Saudi Arabia

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Two former employees of Twitter, of spying for Saudi Arabia accused the access to data in private accounts.

Mike Blake/Reuters


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Mike Blake/Reuters

submitted by Two former employees of Twitter, have been accused of being a spy for Saudi Arabia snooping in thousands of private accounts, the search of personal information on critics of the Riyadh government, according to court documents Wednesday in San Francisco.

The case is the first time that the Federal-burdened office of the public Prosecutor, the Saudis, the deployment of agents in the United States, reports the New York Times.

Ahmad Abouammo, a U.S. citizen, was a media partnerships manager at Twitter, the not authorized access to Twitter users private information. He allegedly did just that, for he identified received payments in the amount of up to US $ 300,000 from the Saudi source, the in the complaint only as “Foreign official-1.” Abouammo also received a Hublot watch with a value of about $20,000.

Last year, Abouammo was interviewed in his home by the FBI about the watch and the payments he had received. According to the complaint, during the interview, he created a false account on his home computer, in order to justify trying to the payments as compensation for the media consulting said he was not more than $100,000.

Abouammo is charged with acting as a foreign to interfere with an agent and the falsification of records in a Federal investigation.

Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi citizen who worked at Twitter from August 2013 as a “site reliability engineer.”

Between may 21, 2015 November 18, 2015, Alzabarah, without authorization, accessed “, the Twitter data from over 6,000 Twitter users, including a minimum of 33 user name for the Saudi Arabian law enforcement authorities, emergency disclosure requests to Twitter had filed,” the complaint said. Among the accounts he accessed, belonging to well-known critic of the Saudi Arabian government.

“one Of these accounts belonged to a prominent dissident, Omar Abdulaziz, the later in the vicinity of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, for freedom of expression in the Arab world,” according to Washington Post.

According toto be r confronted by his superiors in the case of Twitter, Alzabarah claimed that he had looked at the data from curiosity. He left the Twitter building in San Francisco on may 2. December 2015. On the following day he handed in his resignation in an E-Mail during the flight on the way back to Saudi Arabia, according to the complaint.

was accused A third man, Ahmed Almutairi, also known as Ahmed Aljbreen, also, of spying. He is described to be a Saudi citizen, in the complaint, as a principal in a social media marketing company that works for the Saudi Royal family. As an alleged mediator between Saudi officials and a former employee of Twitter, he is believed to be in Saudi Arabia working with Alzabarah on social media projects “for the sake of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” says the complaint.

Twitter, in a statement, said, it is well known that “bad actors” will try to undermine your service and that the company has “limited access to sensitive account information to a specific group of trained and assessed staff.”

“understand, We faced the incredible risks that many who use Twitter, share your perspectives with the world and those in power responsible,” the company added. “We have the tools to protect your privacy and to do your ability to your important work.”

Released on Thu, 07 Nov 2019 04:24:33 +0000

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