A former Twitter employee with dual U.S.-Lebanese citizenship has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, after being found guilty of spying on Twitter users while working on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, according to NBC News.
The report states that ex-Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo was involved in an alleged scheme to collect personal information, including phone numbers and birth dates, from the social platform for a Saudi government agent.
NBC News reports that Abouammo helped supervise media partnerships for Twitter in the Middle East and North Africa.
According to testimony provided by an FBI agent, in 2014, a Saudi government agent began courting Twitter’s Abouammo, including the apparent acts of buying him gifts and depositing money into an Abouammo cousin’s bank account.
Per NBC News, Abouammo then secretly accessed the accounts of users who criticized the Saudi government and subsequently shared their personal information with the government agent.
Abouammo departed Twitter in 2015, but reportedly kept in contact with former co-workers at the company.