US Department of Justice documents revealed a new spending scandal for the UAE in the United States of America to improve its reputation and cover up for its crimes and human rights violations.
The documents showed that the UAE embassy in Washington contracted a technology and public relations company to scan the record of its senior diplomats and all the negative coverage of the country on the Internet.
The company was mandated to scan the electronic content record of the Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and his wife.
The documents submitted by Tirakit, headquartered in Syracuse, in the northern state of New York, on March 24, showed that they received two payments of $175,000 each.
The company received the first financial payment on July 26, 2019, then the second payment on October 8 last, with checks issued by the UAE embassy in Washington.
The contract was signed by Patrick Daniel and McLaren Cumming, director of the company that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign in a number of major states.
The Department of Justice obliges US lobby and public relations firms to register contracts signed with foreign countries and publish them on the website of the department’s Foreign Customer Registration Unit.
The contract image revealed that the company is supporting the Emirates strategy in the American search sites on the Internet (Search Engine Optimization Strategy).
A technology expert said that these tasks include blocking and removing negative information from appearing in the results of the Google search engine and other leading search sites, in addition to highlighting positive content when searching for this person or that country.
The tasks also include pushing “with the positive content of the customer to appear on top of the search results, and scanning or pushing the negative content of the internal pages that the browser does not usually reach,” as the expert stated to Al Jazeera Net.
The company has served in coordination with Harper Group in the capital, Washington, which is chaired by Richard Clarke, a former White House official and senior advisor to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in the US capital.
The company’s efforts included dealing with content and materials related to the UAE and its ambassador to Washington on social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.