UAE government uses ToTok app to spy on citizens’ smartphones

UAE concerned authorities didn’t answer questions on this matter. [Photo: Getty Images]
Apple and Google have removed ToTok from their app stores after US officials found it was being used by the United Arab Emirates government to spy on people.

Sources claim the foreign government is using the messaging app to track conversations, movement, relationships and appointments of those who installed it on their phones.

The app was used to spy on primarily on foreign adversaries, criminal and terrorist networks, journalists and critics.

ToTok has been adopted mostly by Emirates because other apps, like WhatsApp and Skype, are banned, but it has since grown popular in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

It was unclear when American intelligence services first determined that ToTok was a tool of Emirati intelligence, but one person familiar with the assessment said that American officials have warned some allies about its dangers, according to the New York Times.

Libyan Express contacted the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the firm behind ToTok, Breej Holding, seeking clarification about the status of ToTok. They were yet to respond at the time of publishing.

ToTok is a messaging app that  provides a secure way to video and text chat.

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