Fears grow that Cop27 app could be used by Egypt to monitor regime critics |  Policeman 27:00

Fears grow that Cop27 app could be used by Egypt to monitor regime critics | Policeman 27:00

Fears grow that Cop27 app could be used by Egypt to monitor regime critics | Policeman 27:00

There are growing concerns about delegate surveillance Policeman 27:00 Climate talks in Egypt, where cyber security experts warn that the official app for the talks, once downloaded, requests access to a user’s location, photos and even email.

The revelation, as more than 25,000 heads of state, diplomats, negotiators, journalists and activists from around the world gather for a climate summit starting in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday, has raised fears that Egypt’s authoritarian regime will be able to use the UN event’s official platform to target attendees and critics. to follow and disturb inner voices.

Official Policeman 27:00 The app, which has already been downloaded more than 5,000 times, requires users to clear permissions before it can be installed, including an email from Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. the ability to view emails, delete photos and determine the location of users, according to an expert who analyzed it. that’s for the Guardian.

This data could be used by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime to further crack down on dissent in a country already keeps about 65,000 political prisoners. Egypt held a series of liturgies arrests people who were accused of being protesters ahead of Cop27 and trying to screen and isolate any activists near the talks that will see governments try to strike a deal on the climate crisis.

“It’s the cartoon supervillain of an app,” said Jenny Gebhart, director of advocacy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The biggest red flag is the amount of permissions required, which is unnecessary for the app to operate and suggests that they are trying to control attendance.

“No reasonable person would want to agree to have a nation state monitor them, or have their emails read, but often people click these permissions without much thought.”

He added: “I can’t think of one good reason why they need these permits. It is an open question how this information will be used. it raises a lot of scary possibilities. It can have a silencing effect as people self-censor when they realize they are being watched in a similar way. It can have a chilling effect.”

Amnesty International’s Hussain Baumi told the Guardian that technical operatives working for the human rights organization had reviewed the app and flagged a number of concerns ahead of Cop27. The app was able to access users’ camera, microphone, Bluetooth, and location data, as well as pair two different apps.

“It can be used for surveillance,” he said.

Baumi added: “The problems they found were mostly the permits he’s asking for. If given, it allows the app to use it for surveillance against you. It collects data and sends it to two servers, including one in Egypt. The authorities don’t say what they do with this data, and they are able to use this app to collect massive amounts of data from all those users.”

Amr Magdi of Human Rights Watch said his organization also evaluated the app and found it “opens doors for abuse.”

Magdi added that conferences like Cop27 are “a great opportunity to gather information from a security point of view,” including that for some activists, “they want to know more.”

Fears grow that Cop27 app could be used by Egypt to monitor regime critics |  Policeman 27:00
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Photo: Christian Mang/Reuters

Human rights activists in Egypt raised concerns about the Cop27 app almost immediately after it became available.

“Now you can download the official #Police 27: mobile app, but you must provide your full name, email address, mobile number, nationality and passport number. You must also enable location tracking. And then the first thing you see is this.” on Twitter Hossam Baghat, head of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, refers to a screen of the app that shows the face of the Egyptian president.

He then tweeted a screenshot of the app’s terms and conditions. which read: “Our app reserves the right to access customer accounts for technical and administrative purposes and for security reasons.”

The digital surveillance of Cop27 participants comes at the forefront of Egypt’s highly developed infrastructure of network surveillance of citizens’ communications, driven in large part by Egyptian officials’ fears of the power of digital communications and their association with the 2011 popular uprising. This includes: deep packet inspection technology provided by an American company in 2013, which allows authorities to monitor and monitor all web traffic moving through the network. So does the Egyptian government blocks online access to more than 500 websites, including the country’s only independent media outlet, Mada Masr; using the technology provided by the Canadian company Sandvine.

Controls major telephone providers such as Vodafone Allows Egyptian authorities direct access to all users’ phone calls, text messages and information. One Cop27 attendee said Vodafone was handing out free sim cards to conference attendees upon arrival at Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

“The Cop27 application is really part of a broader Egyptian control structure,” Baomi said. “This app comes from a country that indulges in mass surveillance of its own population. It stands to reason, of course, that the Egyptian government’s app could be used for surveillance, data collection, and non-Cop27 purposes. It’s unfortunate, but expected from Egypt.”

Human rights activists and members of Egyptian civil society who are critical of the government have been targeted by Egyptian authorities for years, raising concerns about the risks to high-profile activists attending Cop27. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Citizen Lab discovered “An ongoing and large-scale phishing campaign against Egyptian civil society” targeting organizations working on human rights, political freedoms and gender issues in 2017, as well as individual targets such as lawyers, journalists and activists. Four years later, the “Citizen Laboratory” discovered a new case a hacking attempt against the phone About Egypt’s prominent ex-opposition leader abroad.

South Sinai Governor Khaled Fuda also recently boasted on a domestic cable channel about the level of surveillance Cop27 has, including cameras in the back of taxis that feed footage to a local “security observatory”.

“Sisi’s idea of ​​’security’ is mass spying on everyone,” Magdi on Twitter in response.

The Police Presidency and Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been approached for comment.

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