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A former Twitter worker who was discovered responsible of spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia by sharing knowledge associated to particular individuals has been sentenced to 3 and a half years in jail.
Ahmad Abouammo, 45, was convicted in early August on varied felony fees, together with cash laundering, fraud, falsifying data and being an unlawful agent of a overseas authorities.
Abouammo was arrested on November 5, 2019, after being accused of abusing his entry to Twitter’s inside methods to collect details about critics of Saudi Arabia on the social media platform. He labored at Twitter from 2013 to 2015.
“Mr. Abouammo violated the belief positioned in him to guard the privateness of people by giving his private info to a overseas energy for revenue,” mentioned Assistant Lawyer Basic Matthew G. Olsen of the Division’s Homeland Safety Division. of Justice.
“His conduct was made all of the extra egregious by the truth that the knowledge was focused at political dissidents who spoke out towards that overseas energy.”
Proof introduced throughout the August trial revealed that Abouammo, who labored because the Supervisor of Media Partnerships for the Center East and North Africa (MENA) area, obtained money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in change for passing on figuring out info. associated to its dissidents and critics. probably exposing them to persecution.
A checking account opened by Abouammo in his father’s identify in Lebanon was credited with $200,000 in two transfers, half of which was laundered within the type of small wire transfers to the US beneath false descriptions. He additionally obtained a luxurious watch that later bought on Craigslist for $42,000.
As a part of the sentence, Abouammo was additionally ordered at hand over $242,000 and switch himself in on March 31, 2023, to start his jail time period.
One other former Twitter worker, Ali Alzabarah, who has additionally been accused of buying non-public info on accounts vital of the regime, fled the US in December 2015 earlier than being charged.
The event comes as Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, former Twitter safety chief, denounced severe safety flaws on the firm, along with alleging that the Chinese language and Indian governments had pressured the corporate to rent considered one of its brokers, they usually most likely had. entry to delicate person knowledge.
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