The Latest: Twitter: Tools protect sensitive accounts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on two former Twitter employees charged with accessing personal account information on behalf of the Saudi government. (all times local):

3 p.m.

Twitter has acknowledged that it cooperated in a U.S. investigation of two former employees accused of accessing personal account information on behalf of the Saudi government.

The social media company said in a statement Wednesday it recognizes "the length bad actors will go to try and undermine" its service, and that there are tools in place to protect users with sensitive accounts.

The statement came as U.S. prosecutors detailed a coordinated effort by Saudi officials to recruit employees at the social media giant to look up the private data of thousands of Twitter accounts.

The Saudi government had no immediate comment through its embassy in Washington.

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2:09 p.m.

U.S. prosecutors say the Saudi government recruited two Twitter employees to get personal account information of their critics.

The complaint unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco detailed a coordinated effort by Saudi officials to recruit employees at the social media giant to look up the private data of thousands of Twitter accounts.

The accounts included those of a popular journalist with more than 1 million followers and other prominent government critics.

It also alleged that the employees — whose jobs did not require access to Twitter users' private information — were rewarded with a designer watch and tens of thousands of dollars funneled into secret bank accounts.