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Former Twitter employees charged with spying in the US for Saudi Arabia

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Former Twitter employees charged with spying in the US for Saudi Arabia

Two former employees of twitter have been charged in the US with spying for Saudi Arabia.

According to a report by BBC, it is alleged that Saudi agents sought personal information about twitter users including known critics of the Saudi government.

The two,Ahmad Abouammo from US and Ali Alzabarah from Saudi Arabia are charged alongside Ahmed Almutairi from Saudi Arabia who is alleged to have acted as an intermediary between the two Twitter employees and Saudi officials.

Ahmed Abouammo was charged with falsifying documents and making false statements to the FBI at a Seattle court on Wednesday. Abouammo is said to have left his job as a media partnership manager for twitter in 2015. He will be remanded pending hearing of the case on Friday.

Ali Alzabarah is a former Twitter engineer and is accused of accessing the personal data of more than 6,000 Twitter users in 2015 after being recruited by Saudi agents.

The report further indicates that Alzabarah was confronted by his supervisors and placed on administrative leave before escaping to Saudi Arabia with his wife and daughter.

Twitter issued a statement saying that it recognizes “the lengths bad actors will go to”  to try to undermine its service.

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

The US has maintained close ties with Saudi Arabia despite it not being the first time Saudi Arabia citizens to be charged with spying in the United States.

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