The UAE has transferred a €10 million ($11.4 million) surveillance system to Egypt, after approval from the French manufacturer.
The system is designed to facilitate real-time surveillance of suspects, capable of tracking emails, text messages and accessing chat rooms and social media sites.
The French company, Amesys, also sold an electronic surveillance system to Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi in 2011, for which it is still facing investigations in a French high court.
The contract was finalised through intermediaries in 2014 and then bought by the UAE, delivered by a Dubai based company and implemented by the Egyptian military, according to French magazine Télérama.
Patrick Baudouin, the Worldwide Movement for Human Rights’ honorary president, said in a statement yesterday:
Putting technology for tracking and spying on its critics in the hands of the Sisi regime, while repression is in full swing, is not only self-interested and cynical but also, most likely, criminal.
“That is why we are asking the French authorities to expand the current investigation into Amesys supplying to Libya to include the similar deal with the repressive Egyptian regime.”
Egypt’s crackdown on the press has extended to social media and other communication platforms, restricting journalistic freedom in the country. This has been justified by the government as necessary in the search for members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which it has designated a terrorist organisation.
The European Parliament has urged its member countries to stop exporting dual-use technologies to Egypt on several occasions over the past four years.