Former Twitter employee sold private information of Twitter users to Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Royal family

Aug 10, 2022. A federal jury yesterday convicted a former Media Partnerships Manager for the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region at Twitter of acting as a foreign agent without notice to the Attorney General, conspiracy, wire fraud, international money laundering, and falsification of records in a federal investigation. The verdict follows a two-week trial before the Honorable Senior U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen for the Northern District of California.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ahmad Abouammo, 44, formerly of Walnut Creek, California, and currently residing in Seattle, was employed at Twitter as Media Partnerships Manager for the MENA region. The evidence at trial demonstrated that Abouammo took bribes in exchange for accessing, monitoring, and conveying the private information of Twitter users to officials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Royal family. In this position, Abouammo was responsible for protecting Twitter user information and owed Twitter his honest services. Twitter policies also required Abouammo to disclose violations of Twitter’s security policies and report gifts from those with business dealings with the company. When questioned about the accesses of Twitter user information and his receipt of bribes, Abouammo then lied to FBI investigators and falsified a document.

“Abouammo acted in secret as an agent of a foreign government targeting dissenting voices,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’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.”