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Former Twitter employees hit with expanded espionage charges

The US government has charged two former employees and one other person with seven offenses for allegedly spying on Twitter users critical of the Saudi Arabian royal family.

Two former Twitter employees are charged with allegedly spying on users critical of the Saudi Arabian royal family.
Angela Lang/CNET

The US government filed expanded charges on Tuesday against two former Twitter employees and a third individual for allegedly spying on Twitter users on behalf of Saudi Arabia, according to an indictment

The two former Twitter employees, Ahmad Abouammo and Ali Alzabarah, and a third person named Ahmed Almutairi, were first charged with two offenses in 2019 for allegedly using their work at the social media platform to provide non-public information about Twitter accounts critical of the Saudi royal family to the Saudi government.

The new indictment, which supersedes the original charges in place, came shortly after US prosecutors recommended dismissing the spying charges against the three people. It also expands the charges to seven offenses: acting as an agent for a foreign government without notice to the attorney general, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations, aiding and abetting and criminal forfeiture. 

Twitter declined to comment. 

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