Twitter Spies, Cash Tornadoes, and Silicon Sanctions
Hello and happy Thursday!
Can I be honest? I’m hot, tired, and struggling to come up with some super-deep tech and national security insights. I think between things getting frisky in Asia and the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri, I’ve hit a bit of a “my noodle is baked” wall this week. So instead of an essay or explainer I’ve pulled together some stories that have caught my attention and provided some commentary. But if you have not already, you should stop reading this and immediately listen to Sarah and David’s discussion of the Mar-a-Lago raid and then read Jonah’s G File from yesterday—both are excellent.
Ok, now that you’ve gotten the good stuff we can run through these other interesting developments.
Twitter Employee Was a Saudi Spy
A San Francisco jury has found Ahmad Abouammo guilty of spying for the Saudi government by routinely using his position at Twitter to collect and then share information associated with accounts that criticized the kingdom and its senior leaders, reports the Wall Street Journal. Abouammo was also convicted of money laundering, records falsification, and wire fraud. He was hired by Twitter in 2013 to manage media partnerships with high-profile users in North Africa and the Middle East but began spying for Saudi Arabia soon thereafter.