Sunday November 17, 2019
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Spying Charges On 2 Ex-Twitter Employees for Saudi Arabia

2 former twitter employees were charged with spying for Saudi Arabia

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Spying for Saudi Arabia
Two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for the Saudi Arabia government. Pixabay

Raising concerns that American technology firms might be exposed to foreign governments, two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for the Saudi Arabia government and the Kingdom’s royal family, according to the US Justice Department.

The two former Twitter staffers, Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi national and Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen, used their access at the micro-blogging giant to gather sensitive and non-public information on dissidents of the Saudi regime, the Justice Department said in a criminal complaint.

The case, unsealed in San Francisco federal court, underscores allegations the Saudi government tries to control anti-regime voices abroad. It also recalls a move reportedly directed by the country’s controversial leader to weaponise online platforms against critics, CNN Business reported on Thursday.

Spying
A US citizen, used their access at the micro-blogging giant to gather sensitive and non-public information on dissidents of the Saudi regime. Pixabay

One of the two people is reportedly an associate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who the CIA has concluded likely ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year.

“The criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Saudi agents mined Twitter’s internal systems for personal information about known Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users,” US Attorney David Anderson said in a statement.

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Another man, named Ahmed Almutairi, who is also from Saudi Arabia, allegedly acted as a go-between to the two Twitter staffers and the Saudi government, which according to the complaint rewarded the men with hundreds of thousands of dollars and, for one man, a luxury Hublot watch, the report added. (IANS)

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Wikipedia Co-founder Launching Social Media Website “WT: Social”

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social-media website named "WT: Social" which will compete Facebook and Twitter

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Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social media website names "WT: Social". Pixabay

Intended to get right what Facebook and Twitter have so far been getting wrong, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social-media website named “WT: Social” which will compete with both the social media platforms.

Instead of going for an ad-funded model, Wales aims to finance it through donations, just like Wikipedia.

Like those platforms, WT:Social will let users share articles. But WT:Social will be funded by donations, rather than advertising.

Wikipedia, Social Media
Like other social media platforms,Wikipedia’s WT:Social will let users share articles. Pixabay

“The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic. It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content,” Wales was quoted as saying by Financial Times, according to an Engadget report.

It started as Wikitribune — a site that published original news stories with the community fact-checking and sub-editing articles. The venture never gained much traction, so Wales is moving it to the new platform with a more social networking focus.

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WT:Social will be free to join, but at the moment, you either have to sign up for a waitlist, donate or invite friends. Just a month old, it already has 50,000 users, the Engadget report added. (IANS)