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Gallery of Surveillance: UAE

This is one core component of the Pegasus malware for iPhone used against Ahmed Mansoor.

Ahmed Mansoor is a internationally recognized human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates. In 2011 he initiated together with others a petition that asked for democratic reforms in the UAE, which resulted in their arrest and jail time. After release, Ahmed was revoked his passport and was banned from traveling. In 2015 he was a recipient of the Martin Ennals Award.

Throughout the years several attempts were made by the UAE authorities to hack into Ahmed's computer and mobile devices, often using surveillance technology produced and sold by European companies such as the Italian Hacking Team, or the German FinFisher.

In 2016 Ahmed was again targeted with a sophisticated cyber attack aimed at his iPhone. This time the authorities used a spyware called "Pegasus" and uknown vulnerabilities for iPhone provided by the Israeli company NSO Group. The complexive cost of these tools is estimated at two to three million dollars.

In 2017 Ahmed Mansoor was arrested again, accused of "defaming the UAE through social media". In late May 2018 he was sentenced to 10 years of jail.

Read more

You can read more about the targeted surveillance of Ahmed Mansoor in this report by The Citizen Lab. You can also read this article by Motherboard about it.

Photo by ©Martin Ennals Foundation.
This is the component from Pegasus that silently sends collected data to the watchers.
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