According to reports from Reuters, a former Twitter Inc. manager who was found guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia by disclosing user information several years ago and potentially subjecting users to persecution was given a three and a half year prison sentence on Wednesday, 14th of December, 2022 as per U.S. prosecutors.
In order to deter other members of the technology and social media industries from selling vulnerable users’ data, prosecutors had requested a prison term of just over seven years. Abouammo faced a maximum prison sentence of decades.
Abouammo’s efforts to research two Twitter users, a $42,000 watch he received from a Saudi official, and two $100,000 wire transfers were the main points of the case.
Public defenders for the accused did not immediately reply to requests for comments. Requests for comments from the Saudi Embassy in Washington and Twitter, were also not immediately fulfilled.
Prosecutors allege that Abouammo, who oversaw Twitter’s relationships with journalists and celebrities in the Middle East and North Africa, used sensitive information from the company’s systems to assist Saudi officials in identifying and tracking down Twitter users of interest, potentially exposing them to persecution.
Abouammo’s attorneys stated in their sentencing request that while working at Twitter, his family was “struggling to pay for and deal with serious upheavals in his sister’s life,” including specialised medical care for her newborn daughter.
His actions, the attorneys added, paled in comparison to those of Ali Alzabarah, another ex-Twitter employee accused of accessing thousands of Twitter accounts on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Alzabarah fled the country before being charged.