The American newspaper The New York Times accused the authorities of the United Arab Emirates in spying on their citizens with the help of the popular ToTok messenger in the country. The journalists made such a conclusion on the basis of an investigation into the application, its developers, as well as information received from insiders in the US government who are familiar with secret intelligence reports.
NYTimes reporters claim that the UAE government uses ToTok to track conversations, movement, social connections, and it also sounds and takes photos of those who have the app installed. The release of ToTok took place this year. During this time, it was downloaded by millions of users from the Middle East and other parts of the world.
According to the investigation, Breej Holding is most likely a shell company and is associated with DarkMatter, a hacker firm in Abu Dhabi. Emirate intelligence officers, former specialists from the National Security Agency, and former Israeli military intelligence operatives work there. The FBI is investigating DarkMatter for possible cybercrime. ToTok also brought technical analysis to Pax AI from Abu Dhabi, which collects and analyzes data. All these companies are connected by an office building in the capital of the UAE.
NYTimes reporters note that the UAE is an important US ally in the Middle East, but they allow human rights violations and block certain functions of American messengers.
Google and Apple, after an internal investigation, removed ToTok from their app stores.