Charges have been laid on two former Twitter employees for spying on user accounts and passing information to the Saudi Arabian government, The Washington Post reports.
The U.S. Justice Department announced the charges after one of the employees were arrested and charged with spying on three accounts for the government, according to the article. Another former employee was charged with accessing data on more than 6,000 Twitter accounts.
A third person, who acted as an intermediary, was also charged, the article noted. The three men have been linked to a charity operated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who U.S. officials have tied to author Jamal Khashoggi’s killing. Khashoggi was a murdered journalist and critic of the Saudi government. The article states that the three men were trying to get data on “prominent critics of the government.”
A spokesperson from Twitter said the company “limits access to sensitive account information to a limited group of trained and vetted employees.”
“We understand the incredible risks faced by many who use Twitter to share their perspectives with the world and to hold those in power accountable,” the spokesperson said. “We have tools in place to protect their privacy and their ability to do their vital work. We’re committed to protecting those who use our service to advocate for equality, individual freedoms, and human rights.”