The Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged two former Twitter employees of working with the government of Saudi Arabia to snoop on political dissidents’ accounts. The 27-page complaint alleges that two former Twitter employees, Ali Alzabarah, 35, and Ahmad Abouammo, 41, accessed Twitter account data that helped Saudi Arabia identify the accounts’ users and their locations. In 2015, Alzabarah allegedly accessed as many as 6,000 Twitter accounts, while Abouammo accessed three Twitter accounts, both doing so without authorization. Abouammo was arrested in Seattle, Wash., on Tuesday. Alzabarah meanwhile is believed to be in Saudi Arabia; federal warrants have been issued for his arrest. “Insider threats pose a critical threat to American businesses and our national security,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett in a Wednesday statement. “The FBI will not stand by and allow foreign governments to illegally exploit private user information from U.S. companies. These individuals are charged with targeting and obtaining private data from dissidents and known critics, under the direction and control of the government of Saudi Arabia.” Alzabarah is a Saudi citizen who resided in California and worked as a site-reliability engineer at Twitter from 2013 to 2015; Abouammo is a U.S. citizen who worked at Twitter between 2013 and 2015 as a media partnerships manager, responsible for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to court documents. The two…
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