UK accused of facilitating company sales of surveillance equipment to UAE used to track British academic

Author: Middle East Eye, Published on: 3 April 2019

"Was British tech used by UAE to spy on Matthew Hedges?", 2 April 2019

... The accuser of Matthew, who was arrested, jailed then released in Dubai have said that they used information extracted from his personal electronic devices in their investigation. However, the UK Foreign Office has refused to say whether the surveillance equipment used was sold by British companies – or if it even knows if this was the case. It is also unclear whether British companies selling surveillance equipment know exactly where their technology ends up.

In late March, the parliamentary committee overseeing arms exports asked two industry representatives if it was possible to know whether items companies had sold were used on Hedges. They said they couldn't speak about his specific case, but could also not say whether UK companies would know that level of detail generally.

The UK remains one of the main exporters of surveillance technology and also one of the biggest manufacturers of the technology in the world, according to a July 2016 report from Privacy International, a UK-based charity defending privacy rights.

 

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