A series of newspaper investigations published throughout the past 2019 year, including unprecedented scandals, dedicated the reality of the UAE as a first-class spying country.
As successive investigations and leaks spread, confirming that the UAE has become a repressive and police state with distinction, practicing massive violations of espionage and surveillance.
The surveillance systems in the country are diverse, including social networks, population monitoring, communications and conversations, and the smallest details.
The authority did not harness this technology to protect the nation’s national security as much as it transformed it into chasing human rights activists and intellectuals across the country. Not only that, but it went beyond that to spy on other governments, officials and leaders in those countries.
2019 exposed most of these programs, in great and bad reputation to the state and society. The first of these scandals is the “Revin” project, which was founded by American intelligence agents, and then expanded to attract the state of dozens of hackers and those who pirate the data and steal others’ devices.
And according to what a Reuters investigation revealed in two parts during 2019, many of the secrets of this project, which was founded in 2009, were revealed by an American company and intelligence agents, but after 2012 it turned into a pure Emirati company called Dark Matter.
The company was established by Faisal Al Bannai, founder of Axiom, one of the largest mobile phone companies in the Middle East. And the website “The Interspace” published a report in 2016 linking “Dark Matter” and the espionage operations carried out by the Emirates.
But what was revealed by Reuters was widespread, where it sank throughout the year between thousands of documents and leaks that confirm this, and it reached the extent that the US federal authorities are investigating the Emirati intelligence project, as reported by “Reuters”, explaining that the intelligence project worked to penetrate email addresses in “Google” and Hotmail and Yahoo.
The espionage of a number of human rights activists currently held in the prisons of the State Security Agency, such as the prominent award-winning activist Ahmed Mansour and educational expert Ahmed bin Ghaith Al-Suwaidi, targeted officials such as the Emir of Qatar, and the documents quoted that the Emiratis attempted to spy on FIFA officials, After Qatar won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2020. The plan required theft of data that would harm Qatar’s reputation, thus depriving it of hosting the tournament.
Dark Mater employees are either intelligence men who sold their conscience or hackers who act as mercenaries. Most of them are “Zionists,” as the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz revealed that the state contracted with former Israeli army officers to work in Dar Mater, stating that they receive “astronomical” salaries of up to $ 1 million annually, with the aim of going after Western journalists and human rights activists.