The prominent Lebanese media and Al-Jazeera anchor, Ghada Owais, returned to comment on the hacking of her phone and spying on her by the Saudi regime among a number of media professionals and opponents of the regime of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
This coincides with recent foreign reports highlighting the Saudi scandal, and its relationship with an Israeli electronic surveillance company, which designed the “Pegasus” program to penetrate mobile phones.
An achievement for a government to spy on you and discover that you are swimming in swimsuits in front of your house 🤣
Honestly a great achievement
In any case, espionage is a crime for which the person who committed it pays, and that is why the case was filed against # مبس and associates. Pay them back two yards.
— Ghada Oueiss (@ghadaoueiss) July 21, 2021
Ghada Owais comments a sarcastic from Saudi Arabia
Ghada Owais said in her tweet, mocking the Saudi authorities and the crown prince: “An achievement for a government to spy on you and discover that you are swimming in swimsuits in front of your house… a great achievement, frankly.”
Read also: Ghada Owais reveals private photos stolen from her phone to discredit her: “I am a victim of spying”
And the Al-Jazeera announcer continued: “In any case, espionage is a crime for which whoever committed it pays, and for this reason, the lawsuit was filed against MBS and his associates. One for them will be rewarded by two.”
Two days ago, Ghada Owais said that she was a “victim of spyware,” revealing that private photos of her had been stolen from her mobile phone and used to discredit her through social media and the press.
I am a victim of spyware. My photos were stolen&used to smear me across social media and the press. No one should have to go through this. No journalist, activist, academic or citizen should feel unsafe just for owning a phone. We need to fight for the right to privacy#Ghada_Owais pic.twitter.com/18zc0DpU41
— Ghada Oueiss (@ghadaoueiss) July 19, 2021
Denouncing this matter, Ghada Owais continued: “No one should go through this. No journalist, activist, academic or citizen should feel insecure just by owning a phone.”
Ghada Owais concluded her tweet by saying: “We need to fight for the right to privacy.”
Ghada Owais is suing Ibn Salman and Ibn Zayed
On December 10, 2020, Ghada Owais filed a lawsuit against “Bin Salman” in a US court in Florida.
Ghada Owais said in her lawsuit that she accuses the Saudi Crown Prince and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed, of being behind the incident of hacking her phone, and publishing personal photos of her about six months ago.
— Ghada Oueiss (@ghadaoueiss) December 26, 2020
Ghada Owais commented by saying that “Bin Salman” thought that the policy of debt buying and intimidation could succeed, but that was wrong, continuing by saying: “They believed that they could not be held accountable, and that they could continue their tyrannical vows.”
A few days later, Owais published pictures of the judicial summons against the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammad bin Zayed, in the case she filed against them in an American court.
The Al Jazeera anchor said that she was targeted because she presented reports critical of Saudi Arabia, which is a very clear message to journalists across the Middle East.
She mentioned the lawsuits filed against bin Salman, especially by Khadija Genghis, the fiancée of the late Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, in addition to the lawsuit of the former Saudi intelligence officer Saad al-Jabri.
Saudi Arabia, UAE and Spyware
A joint investigation by the British newspaper The Guardian and other international media, based on leaked data and forensic analysis of phones, revealed new evidence that the Saudi and Emirati regimes used the Pegasus spyware sold by the Israeli company NOS to try to monitor Prime Time Zone close to journalist Jamal Khashoggi before and after his death.
And the Guardian explained in a report published on Sunday that the criminal investigation revealed that in one case, the phone of a person in Khashoggi’s inner circle was hacked four days after his murder.
The newspaper stated in a lengthy investigation that 45 countries around the world, including several Arab countries, use Israeli NOS technologies to suppress opponents.
The investigation points to an apparent attempt by Saudi Arabia and its close ally the UAE to take advantage of NSO’s spy technology after Khashoggi’s death to monitor his accomplices and investigate the murder, and they even tried to access the Istanbul prosecutor’s phone to monitor him.
The investigation revealed that those close to Khashoggi had been targeted through Israeli technology in the months leading up to the killing, on top of them being the phone of his wife, Hanan al-Attar, several months before his death, between November 2017 and April 2018.
A forensic analysis of El-Attar’s Android phone found that four text messages containing malicious links linked to the technology were sent. The analysis indicated that the targeting came from the UAE, an ally of Saudi Arabia. However, the scan did not confirm whether the device was successfully infected.
“Jamal warned me before that this might happen,” El-Eter said. “It makes me think they are aware of all things Jamal through me.” She added that she was concerned about the possibility of monitoring his conversations with fellow opponents on her phone. She said, “I kept my phone on the tea table [في منزلهم في فرجينيا] While Jamal was talking to a Saudi man twice a week.”
The Guardian noted that the mite number was also included in the numbers chosen by NSO clients as candidates for potential surveillance. Access to the leak was shared with the Guardian and other media by Forbidden Stories, as part of a collaborative investigation exposing Project Pegasus. The phones were scanned by Amnesty International’s Security Lab, a technology partner of Project Pegasus.
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