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Former Twitter employees accused of spying for Saudi Arabia

ANI  |  Middle East 

United States Federal Department on Wednesday accused two former Twitter employees of spying for Saudi Arabia.

According to the US Justice Department complaint, Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi national, and Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen, in 2015 illegally gathered sensitive information and other data on dissenters of the Saudi Kingdom, CNN reported.

"The criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Saudi agents mined Twitter's internal systems for personal information about known Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users," US Attorney David Anderson said in a statement.

"US law protects US companies from such an unlawful foreign intrusion. We will not allow US companies or US technology to become tools of foreign repression in violation of US law," he added.

The 27-page complaint also names a third person, Ahmed Almutairi who reportedly acted as an intermediary between the two employees and rewarded the employees with thousands of dollars and luxury accessories.

The Justice Department charged all three for acting as illegal agents of a foreign government. Abouammo is the only one under US custody after his arrest on Tuesday.

Following the complaint, Twitter responded as saying, "We limit access to sensitive account information to a limited group of trained and vetted employees."

"We understand the incredible risks faced by many who use Twitter to share their perspectives with the and to hold those in power accountable. We have tools in place to protect their privacy and their ability to do their vital work," Twitter said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 07 2019. 12:35 IST