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CYBERCRIME: Twitter worker spied for Saudi rulers

CYBERCRIME: Twitter worker spied for Saudi rulers
By Iain Fraser - Cybersecurity Journalist

AFP has reported that a jury sitting at a federal court in San Francisco has found a former employee of Twitter guilty of spying for the Saudi-Arabia´s ruling family.

Ahmad Abouammo´s defence team led by attorney Angela Chuang tried unsuccessfully to argue that he nothing more than accept high value gifts and cash from "free-spending Saudi´s" for simply doing his job as a client manager.

US prosecutor Colin Sampson said in his summing up that "the evidence shows that, for a price and thinking no one was watching, the defendant sold his position to an insider of the crown prince"

The prosecution accused Abouammo working with another Ali Alzabarah of being enlisted by Saudi officials between late 2014 and early the following year to get private information on accounts firing off posts critical of the regime. They used their position within the social media giant to steal email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and other private data to identify people behind various "anonymous" accounts.

The jury deliberated for three days before finding Abouammo guilty on 6 of the 11 charges against him.

Abouammo was bailed after the verdict was delivered to the court pending sentencing, despite concerns expressed by prosecutors that he might try to flee the country. His co-accused Alzabarah, a Saudi national, is being sought on a charge of failing to register in the United States as an agent of a foreign government as required by United States law according to the FBI.

Cybersecurity Journalist

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