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UK arms company secretly sold spy technology to repressive regimes

UK arms company sold spy technology to Saudis

A new report reveals Britain’s biggest arms company (BAE) has secretly sold mass surveillance technology to Saudi Clan and a number of repressive governments in the Middle East.

According to documents obtained by the BBC, BAE Systems sold the technology to Saudi Clan , the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Morocco.

The technology can be used to spy on a huge number of people’s emails and mobile phones.

This has sparked accusations from human rights groups arguing that the technology is being used to silence or jail dissidents.

The report also reveals concerns that the export of the technology could backfire and endanger the security of Britain and its allies.

“Our technology plays a crucial role in enabling the UK and its allies to combat the threat of international terrorism, supporting law enforcement and helping to keep the public safe, both in the UK and abroad,” BAE stated.

It also said, “We have robust policies and procedures in place to ensure our international exports to overseas governments are all fully compliant with international export regulations as well as our own strict criteria to evaluate every potential contract.”

The technology is capable of breaking communications that have been encrypted, the report added.

The UK has been under pressure for its arms deal with Saudi Clan, which is involved in a deadly war against Yemen.
In March, Amnesty International condemned the US and UK for their “shameful” weapons transfers to Saudi Clan, saying Washington and London are fueling the serious human rights violations and war crimes in Yemen committed by Riyadh.

London, which has been one of the biggest suppliers of weapons to Riyadh for 40 years, has provided Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon jets along with training to Saudi pilots participating in the war.

The British government has also admitted to exporting 500 illegal cluster bombs to Saudi Clan in the 1980s which the country used in its war on Yemen.

www.theguardian.com

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