situation report

Saudi Arabia: U.S. Justice Department Accuses Former Twitter Employees of Spying for Saudi Government

1 MIN READNov 7, 2019 | 17:30 GMT

What Happened: The U.S. Justice Department has charged two former Twitter employees and a Saudi national with spying on critics of the Saudi government and providing information to Riyadh, The Washington Post reported Nov. 6.

Why It Matters: The case illustrates a strategy by the Saudi government to recruit former employees of technology companies and employ them for espionage purposes against dissident groups. Similar indictments could raise the pressure on Western countries to implement legislation making it more difficult for technology companies to hand over information to foreign governments.

Background: Several countries have become increasingly active in using espionage to gain access to information about government critics on social media platforms, particularly across Africa, Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East.

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