The US Justice Department has charged two former Twitter employees with allegedly spying for Saudi Arabia.
The Washington Post, which published a criminal complaint that outlines the charges, reported Wednesday that one ex-employee, Ahmad Abouammo, faces allegations that he dug into the account of three users on behalf of the Saudi government. Abouammo, a US citizen, was arrested on Tuesday. One of the Twitter users he looked into posted content about Saudi leadership, according to the Post.
Another employee, Ali Alzabarah, was accused of gaining accessing to the personal information of more than 6,000 Twitter accounts in 2015. Alzabarah is a Saudi citizen. Both ex-employees are believed to be in Saudi Arabia.
The criminal complaint, which was unsealed on Wednesday, raises concerns about whether Twitter is doing enough to safeguard the information of users critical of authoritarian regimes.
“We recognize the lengths bad actors will go to try and undermine our service,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement. “Our company limits access to sensitive account information to a limited group of trained and vetted employees.”
The spokesman declined to share any more information, but noted that the company has tools to protect the privacy of Twitter users who face risks when they share their views.
This story is developing…