Ex-Twitter employee found guilty of acting as Saudi Arabia agent
A jury in California on Tuesday convicted 44-year-old Ahmad Abouammo, a former media partnerships manager for the Middle East/North Africa region at Twitter, of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and falsification of records, a DOJ press release said.
Abouammo, a dual US-Lebanese national, was found to have accessed Twitter users' information and passed it on to Saudi officials in exchange for bribes, beginning as early as 2014.
"Abouammo acted in secret as an agent of a foreign government targeting dissenting voices," said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the DOJ's National Security Division.
"This verdict shows that the Justice Department will not tolerate any act of transnational repression and will hold accountable those who aid hostile regimes in extending their reach to our shores."
US Attorney Stephanie Hinds for the Northern District of California said that the US government demonstrated that the 44-year-old "violated a sacred trust" to keep Twitter users' private information and instead sold it to a foreign government.
Abouammo faces up to 10 years in prison for the charge of acting as a foreign agent and 20 years for each of the other counts as well as up to a $250,000 fine for each count.
Cover photo: Collage: 123Rf/olegdudko & SAMUEL CORUM / AFP