Saudi spy on Twitter faces 20 years in prison

 Former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo was found guilty by a court of spying for the Saudi Arabian government.

In a trial held in San Francisco federal court last Tuesday (9/8), Abouammo was found guilty of violating various articles, including money laundering. He is currently waiting to be sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison.

While working at Twitter, Abouammo was a media partnership manager tasked with finding prominent figures from the Middle East and North Africa to promote his account.

But he took advantage of his position to steal Twitter user data such as email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. Of course, not all Twitter user data was stolen, but only people whose data was needed by the Saudi Arabian government.

Then Abouammo turned the data over to the Saudi Arabian government, which he did between November 2014 and May 2015, and he then got paid from them.

According to prosecutors, Abouammo was employed by an assistant to Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But Abouammo is said to have argued that he was just doing his job, and instead blamed Twitter for not securing user data.

Then in 2021, a human rights activist named Ali Al-Ahmed sued Twitter for not properly securing user data.

In 2019, the US Department of Justice charged Abouammo and another former Twitter employee named Ali Alzabarah with espionage. Then his indictment was extended in 2020 to Ahmed Almutairi, who is thought to be the mastermind of the stunt.

Both Almutairi and Alzabarah are currently still wanted by the United States government.

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