A former Twitter worker has been sentenced to a few and a half years in jail for spying on individuals on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
In August 2022, former Twitter worker Ahmad Abouammo (44) was discovered responsible of amassing non-public info from sure Twitter customers and passing it on to Saudi Arabia.
Abouammo has now been sentenced to a few and a half years in jail for spying on individuals on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
“A California man was sentenced yesterday to 42 months in federal jail for his function in accessing, monitoring and transmitting confidential and delicate info that might be used to establish and find Twitter customers of curiosity to the Saudi Royal Household.” . learn the press launch revealed by the Division of Justice. “Ahmad Abouammo, 45, previously of Walnut Creek and presently residing in Seattle, was convicted of performing as a overseas agent with out discover to the Legal professional Common, conspiracy, wire fraud, worldwide cash laundering and falsifying data in a federal investigation. August 2nd. 9 after a two-week jury trial.”
In November 2019, former Twitter staff Abouammo and Saudi nationwide Ali Alzabarah had been charged with spying on 1000’s of Twitter person accounts on behalf of the Saudi Arabian authorities. The 2 former Twitter staff operated for the Saudi Arabian authorities with the intention of exposing dissidents who used the social community.
Representatives of the Saudi Arabian authorities recruited the duo in 2014, their mission was to gather private info from Twitter accounts related to outstanding identified critics of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Royal Household.
Abouammo and Alzabarah had unauthorized entry to info related to some profiles, together with e-mail addresses, units used, biographical info offered by the person, dates of delivery, data containing the person’s browser info, a file of all of the actions of a selected person on the Twitter platform. at any given time, and different info that can be utilized to geographically find a person, equivalent to IP addresses and telephone numbers.
In line with the indictment, Alzabarah joined Twitter in August 2013 as a “web site reliability engineer,” working with Saudi officers between Might 21 and November 18, 2015. He’s accused of allegedly spying on greater than 6,000 Twitter accounts. , together with dozens of customers for whom the Saudi Arabian police had despatched emergency disclosure requests to Twitter.
Abouammo was charged with performing as a overseas agent on US soil, he additionally offered falsified data to the feds to intrude with their investigation.
The person additionally eliminated sure info from the social media platform and, in some circumstances, closed Twitter accounts on the request of Saudi authorities officers. In fact, he was additionally capable of expose the identities of some customers on behalf of the Saudi Arabian authorities.
Saudi officers paid Abouammo as much as $300,000 for his work, which the prosecution defined was potential by masking the funds with false invoices. The doc additionally states that the person acquired a Hublot Unico Massive Bang King Gold Ceramic watch. The watch offered for $42,000 on Craigslist.
“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. His conduct was made much more egregious by the truth that the data was meant for dissidents politicians who spoke out towards that overseas energy,” stated Assistant Legal professional Common Matthew G. Olsen of the Division of Justice’s Homeland Safety Division. “We’re dedicated to holding accountable those that illegally act as unregistered overseas brokers and promote campaigns of affect hidden within the title of overseas regimes”.
Proof introduced through the August trial revealed that Abouammo acquired money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for his exercise. The person opened a checking account within the title of his father in Lebanon and used it to obtain $200,000 in two transfers.
Abouammo was additionally ordered to forfeit $242,000 and switch himself in on March 31, 2023 to start serving his jail sentence.
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 compelled the corporate to rent one in all its brokers, and so they most likely had. entry to delicate person knowledge.
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Former Twitter employee sentenced to 3.5 years in jail for spying on behalf of Saudi ArabiaSecurity Affairs