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Article

21 Mar 2022

Author:
D+C Development and Cooperation

Egypt: European companies systematically supply the Egyptian regime with surveillance equipment; used to target media outlets and opponents, report says

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Allegations

"How Cairo spies on regime critics online" 18 March 2022

Since al-Sisi came to power, state agencies have acquired sophisticated spying software from France, Italy and Germany. The digital technology evidently serves to track regime critics on the internet.

Spyware developed by the Anglo-German Gamma Group was acquired by Egypt even before the Arab Spring in 2011. In 2018, however, the regime expanded its options by buying CEREBRO software...developed by the French Amesys Group and can be used to spy on smartphones. Nexa Technologies...bought CEREBRO and sold it to Egypt...Moreover, Amnesty International...reported in 2020 that it had also found sophisticated FinFisher spyware in Egypt...Details of a deal between FinFisher and Egypt remain unknown. However, European spyware companies are apparently systematically selling their products to Egypt...

...it is a scandal that the distribution of FinFisher products has facilitated spying on journalists and others at work...German law enforcement agencies must clarify how the surveillance software of a German company fell into the hands of Egypt’s authoritarian regime despite export controls.