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US-based Saudi rights activist sues Twitter for stealing his personal data

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US-based Saudi rights activist sues Twitter for stealing his personal data
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Ali al-Ahmed. AP

San Francisco: Saudi Arabia origin human rights activist based out in the US has taken legal action against the microblogging platform Twitter for accessing his personal information and sharing it with the Saudi Arabia government.

Ali al-Ahmed, who was granted asylum in the US, had earlier sued Twitter in the Southern District of New York last year, alleging that the Twitter employees Ahmad Abouammo and Ali al-Zabarah hacked his account between 2013 and 2016 and leaked the personal details of his sources to Saudi intelligence.

Although the US prosecutors charged Abouammo and al-Zabarah with spying for a foreign government in July 2020, the judge overseeing al-Ahmed's claim in New York recently refused to accept that New York was a suitable venue for the case.

Now, Al-Ahmed is suing Twitter again on its home turf.

In his lawsuit, Al-Ahmed, head of the human rights advocacy organization Institute for Gulf Affairs, claimed that Twitter did not have the right to disclose or share his private information under its own privacy policy and should have done more to protect his information.

"He names two men in the suit who were indicted last year by federal prosecutors for working as agents of the Saudi government while working for Twitter several years ago," the report said on Friday.

The micro-blogging platform was yet to react to the report.

Al-Ahmed claimed that his Twitter account was suspended in 2018 without explanation and was yet to be reinstated despite repeated appeals.

"While Twitter may wish to play the victim of state-sponsored espionage, Twitter's conduct in punishing the victims of this intrigue, including Mr. Al-Ahmed, tells a far different story: one of ratification, complicity, and/or adoption tailored to appease a neigh beneficial owner and preserve access to a key market, the [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia]," the complaint read.


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TAGS:Twitter Saudi dissident Ali al ahmed 
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