Two then-employees of Twitter used their position to provide the Saudi government with information about its critics on the platform, say prosecutors, who have charged them with espionage. The men rifled through "thousands of private accounts seeking personal information" of use to the kingdom's security forces, reports NPR.
Ahmad Abouammo, a U.S. citizen, was a media partnerships manager at Twitter who was not authorized to access Twitter users' private information. He allegedly did exactly that for which he received payments of up to $300,000 from a Saudi source identified in the complaint only as "Foreign Official-1." Abouammo also received a Hublot watch with a value of about $20,000. Abouammo is charged with acting as a foreign agent and falsifying records to obstruct a federal investigation. ...
Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi citizen worked at Twitter beginning in August 2013 as a "site reliability engineer." Between May 21, 2015, and November 18, 2015, Alzabarah, without authorization, accessed "the Twitter data of over 6,000 Twitter users, including at least 33 usernames for which Saudi Arabian law enforcement had submitted emergency disclosure requests to Twitter," the complaint said. Among the accounts he accessed were those belonging to well-known critics of the Saudi government.
Clearview AI (previously) is a grifty facial recognition company that sells untested, secretive tools to police departments, claiming that they can identify people from security camera footage by matching the pictures those scraped from big social media sites.
In 2018, London's Metropolitan Police Force announced trials of a facial recognition system that could be married to the city's legendarily invasive CCTV thicket; the tests failed 98% of the time and led to arrests of people who opted out by covering their faces.
• Hoan Ton-That, founder of facial recognition tech firm Clearview AI, previously connected to Trump world figures and online hate extremists, reports Buzzfeed News • Chuck Johnson, Mike Cernovich, and Rudy Giuliani are among the linked figures named in Buzzfeed report • NYPD disputes facial recognition firm Clearview AI’s claim that it identified a terrorism […]
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