November 21, 2019 / 5:55 PM / 15 days ago

Former Twitter worker accused of spying for Saudi Arabia can be released on bond

Ahmad Abouammo, a former Twitter Inc employee accused of spying for Saudi Arabia, leaves Santa Rita jail after being freed pending trial, in Dublin, California, U.S. November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Kate Munsch

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A former Twitter Inc employee accused of spying for Saudi Arabia may be freed pending trial, a U.S. District Court judge ruled on Thursday.

Ahmad Abouammo and two other men were indicted earlier this month on spying charges in a case that puts Silicon Valley in the spotlight over protection of personal data, including from tech company employees who have no reason to access the information.

In a hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen agreed to free Abouammo, a dual citizen of the United States and Lebanon, with conditions, including that his family surrender their passports and that he wear a location device to allow his movements to be tracked.

Reporting by Katie Paul; editing by Peter Henderson and Bill Berkrot

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