An ex-Twitter employee was found guilty of espionage for Saudi Arabia

An ex-Twitter employee was found guilty of espionage for Saudi Arabia

According to a report, former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo was convicted guilty of espionage for the Saudi government. On Tuesday, the jury returned their verdict in a federal court in San Francisco, where Abouammo was also found guilty of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud, money laundering, and fabricating documents.

Abouammo formerly worked as a media partnerships manager at Twitter, where he assisted important personalities in the Middle East and North Africa in promoting their accounts. He used his position, however, to get access to the email addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates of people who were critical of the Saudi government. Between November 2014 and May 2015, Abouammo gave such information to Saudi authorities in exchange for presents.

Abouammo and another former Twitter employee, Ali Alzabarah, were charged with espionage in 2019. The accusations were then increased in 2020 to include a third person, Ahmed Almutairi, who reportedly supervised the plot. The US government continues to seek Almutairi and Alzabarah. Human rights campaigner Ali Al-Ahmed sued Twitter last year, alleging that the network should have done more to secure his information.

According to sources, prosecutors accused Abouammo of conspiring with an assistant to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to repress dissidents. Abouammo allegedly claimed that he was only performing his job and blamed Twitter for failing to secure users’ data.

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