Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia

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Two former employees of Twitter and a third man from Saudi Arabia face USA charges of spying for the kingdom by digging up private user data and giving it to Saudi officials in exchange for payment, a complaint from the Department of Justice shows.

Alzabarah joined Twitter in 2013, rising through the ranks of the engineering division. The information moved to Riyadh included emails, IP addressed associated with the accounts, the devices and browsers used, as well as additional tracking information.

The espionage is alleged to have been carried out from the fall of 2014 until December 2015. He allegedly met with Abouammo before the London trip and also met Alzabarah.

The US government has charged two former Twitter employees with spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed Almutairi, a third man named in the case, is said to have acted as the intermediary between the Saudi authorities and the social media giant employees. He was arrested in Seattle on Tuesday. Either way, the ease with which these three men operated is a reminder that hacking isn't the only way to access data illicitly: a well-placed insider with nefarious motives can wreak a lot of damage too. He is accused of spying on the accounts of three Twitter users, including one whose posts discussed Saudi leaders.

Another person who does social media marketing for the Saudi royal family doubts to be the intermediate between the Saudi government and the accused Twitter employees charged with conspiracy.

The two Saudis who worked at Twitter were tasked with gathering the email addresses linked to the Twitter accounts and internet protocol addresses that indicate the user's location. They are accused of working with a Saudi official who leads a charitable organization that belongs to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "We're committed to protecting those who use our service to advocate for equality, individual freedoms, and human rights". Ahmad Abouammo, a USA citizen, and Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi citizen, were charged with acting as agents of Saudi Arabia without registering with the US government.

Anderson also said in the statement that USA laws protect United States companies from such illegal foreign penetration, adding that they won't allow U.S. companies or technology to be used as a tool for external repression and violations of USA laws.

Alzabarah has not returned to the USA, investigators said. "Our company limits access to sensitive account information to a limited group of trained and vetted employees".

Soon after remaining put on leave by Twitter, Alzabarah despatched a letter of resignation when aboard a flight again to Saudi Arabia. We perceive the unimaginable dangers confronted by many who use Twitter to share their views with the world and to carry these in energy accountable.

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