Emirates Leaks reveals: The UAE bought 900 million dollars worth of Israeli spy software in 2020
Reliable sources revealed to Emirates Leaks that the UAE regime purchased Israeli cyber spy software worth $900 million in 2020.
The sources stated that the UAE concluded most of the equipment deals before signing the normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel in mid-August.
The sources said that documents prove that the UAE is the primary customer for Israel in purchasing cyber spy software.
The UAE uses this equipment to spy on its citizens and expatriates and journalists and dissidents of dozens of nationalities.
Israeli exports recovery
The Hebrew site, Israel Defense, highlighted that Israel’s cyber exports in 2020 amounted to 6.85 billion dollars.
The website said that the Coronavirus pandemic crisis had revitalized the cyber industries.
He added that many Arab regimes, motivated by the UAE, are avidly consuming Israeli cyber spy software.
It explained that the UAE and other countries that buy Israeli spy equipment use it to pursue their citizens and opponents.
Regional centre for surveillance
The International Committee to Protect Journalists said that the UAE is a regional centre for surveillance, piracy, and journalists’ spying.
In an extensive report, the committee stated that in the wake of the 2011 demonstrations that rocked the region (the latest Arab Spring), the authorities redoubled their efforts to monitor journalists’ activities and others whom they deemed to pose a potential threat to its authority.
According to the commission, the governments have brought in surveillance experts from the United States to develop their surveillance infrastructure.
These governments cooperated with allies and previous enemies, such as Israel, to buy and sell surveillance technologies, as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The authorities, led by the UAE, have used new and vague censorship laws to impose electronic media restrictions.
Website blocking is common in the region; The UAE blocked websites without explaining or giving a warning.
According to the ICRC, the UAE has become the regional monitoring centre.
Emirati government officials have used technologies from NSO Group, an Israel-based company, against journalists.
The UAE has also created a monitoring tool with the help of former government employees in the United States, as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists in December 2020 and January 2019, respectively.
The committee asked the NSO Group via email in December for comment, but the group declined to comment that could be attributed to a spokesperson by name.
Other governments in the region are also suspected of using malware to target journalists, such as the UAE.
Saudi Arabia monitored the phones of several people whose names appeared in the list of names on journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s phone before its agents killed him.