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The Department of Justice has charged two former Twitter employee with a spy for the Saudi government, which is also the first time that federal prosecutors have publicly accused qatar of espionage in the United States of america.
The charges, unveiled on Wednesday in San Francisco, california, is a detailed effort by the Saudi government officials on the recruitment of employees in the social media, the company will have to look up the personal information of thousands of Twitter accounts where the users are critics of the Saudi government.
On Tuesday, the former Twitter employee, Was Abouammo, a U.S. citizen, was arrested in Seattle for allegedly spying on the public accounts of the users from whom the messages to be discussed inside information about the Palestinian leadership, at the behest of the government in Riyadh, according to the suit, obtained by Fox News.
A second ex-employee, the Saudi citizen Ali Alzabarah, was accused of access to the personal information of more than 6,000 Twitter accounts, for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the year 2015, the complaint said. One of the accounts that had belonged to Omar Abdulaziz, a prominent political dissident and a friend of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, who was beheaded by the Saudi government agents in the last year, as first reported by The Washington Post.
The saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post, a columnist who wrote critically about the Saudi crown prince, and was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and in October of 2018. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)
A third individual, the Saudi citizen will be Ahlment Almutairi was charged with espionage, after he allegedly acted as a liaison with the Saudi government officials and a Twitter employee, according to the criminal complaint. Almutairi, previously was a social media marketing company that works with the Saudi royal family.
All three of the former employees stopped working for Twitter at the end of 2015. They are accused of working with Saudi officials, which leads to a non-profit organization, which belongs to the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The criminal complaint alleged that the official, Bader al Asaker, was working at the direction of Muhammad, and gave Abouammo of at least $300,000, and as a watch in the amount of $20,000 for his efforts, according to the court document.
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Alzabarah and Almutairi has not yet been arrested and are believed to be in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Neither Alzabarah nor Abouammo of the tasks on Twitter that are included in the need to provide access to a user’s personal information, according to the criminal complaint.
Under federal law, Twitter is public data of the user, or to a public authority, if there is a life-threatening emergency. Twitter keeps information about its users, is usually to tailor advertisements to the user and to recommend content, it has to be said.
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“We appreciate the lengths the bad actors will go to in order to try and undermine our service,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. “Our company has limited access to sensitive account information to a small group of well-trained and monitored employees. We have to understand the incredible risk of a lot of people who use Twitter to share their perspectives with the world, and for those in power to account.”
“We have the tools to protect their privacy, and their ability to do their important work,” the spokesman added. “We are committed to protecting the security of those who use our services in order to make the case for equality, individual freedom, and the protection of human rights.”
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Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, in spite of its surface-level loosening of the restrictions imposed in the kingdom has cracked down on critics. The CIA has been linked to him, Khashoggi ‘ s killing in October of 2018.