Cybersecurity firm Fox-IT offered intelligence services software to repressive regimes in the Middle East between 2007 and 2011. That is what the research platform Follow The Money writes. Fox-IT is said to have promoted the self-developed surveillance software in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria, among others.
Fox-IT is originally a Dutch security company, which was acquired by the British NCC in 2015. The cybersecurity company was previously in the news in 2019 after research by research collective Buro Jansen & Jansen. The research collective was already writing about Fox-IT’s attempts to sell products in the Middle East. Follow The Money has conducted additional research and held discussions with business relations and former employees. This brings the matter back into focus.
Spyware is spy software that covertly collects information about a computer user. This information is valuable to external parties. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to the suppression of politicians and journalists, for example. This was also evident last month when it was announced that hundreds of journalists may have been spied on with Pegasus, the eavesdropping software of the NGO Group.
According to Follow the Money, Fox-IT has offered proprietary surveillance software in the Middle East. The company is also said to have presented these products in countries with repressive regimes. This would include the product FoxReplay Analyst. With this surveillance tool, large amounts of tapped data can be analyzed and searched.
The software package is so powerful that it is normally only sold to government intelligence and investigation services. However, between 2007 and 2011, Fox-IT was not limited to the government alone, and it also approached customers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria, among others. Even after the Arab Spring broke out, the company continued to promote FoxReplay in the Middle East.
Fox-IT denies selling FoxReplay Analyst in the Middle East. According to former Fox-IT employees with whom Follow, the Money has spoken, Fox-IT has made efforts to promote the surveillance software in the Middle East.
Catch up on more articles here
Follow us on Twitter here