Spies in Silicon Valley: Twitter Breach Tied to Saudi Dissident Arrests


An internal breach at Twitter Inc. a half decade ago yielded data that was later used by Saudi Arabia to harass or arrest people critical of the government, according to lawsuits, human rights groups and the relative of a person apprehended in 2018.

In 2015, two Twitter employees allegedly accessed more than 6,000 accounts while acting as spies for the government of Saudi Arabia. Some details of the incident have been disclosed by U.S. prosecutors, who charged the two men last November, and in recent lawsuits by people who alleged their accounts were among those breached. But few other details have emerged about what the Saudi government may have done with the data.

Now, the sister of a Saudi man who ran an anonymous Twitter account said her brother’s disappearance resulted from the activities of the alleged Twitter spies. Abdulrahman al-Sadhan was working at his office in Riyadh on March 12, 2018 when Saudi Arabia’s secret police showed up and took him away, according to his sister, Areej al-Sadhan. His family hasn’t seen him since, and until he was permitted to make a short phone call to a relative in February, they worried that he might have been killed.

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Source Bloomberg
Via Bloomberg

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