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Emirati messaging app ToTok removed by Google, Apple amid reports of state spying: Report

In a blog post, ToTok wrote that it is "temporarily unavailable" on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store because of a "technical issue".

December 24, 2019 / 05:12 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Following a report by The New York Times which stated that the government of United Arab Emirates was allegedly using messaging app ToTok to track activities of users, Google and Apple have removed it from their app stores, ANI reported.

The messaging app, which sells itself as an easy and secure way to connect and chat with people via text or video, has reportedly been downloaded by millions.

In a blog post, ToTok wrote that it is "temporarily unavailable" on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store because of a "technical issue".

Quoting American officials in its report, NYT said that the Emirati app serves as a snooping tool for the UAE government to keep an eye on all the activities-- every move, chat, image, contact-- of its users.

The NYT report mentioned that a majority of the app's users are said to be in the Emirates, even though it became one of the most downloaded apps in the US last week. Breej Holding Limited, the app's publisher, is also allegedly affiliated with DarkMatter.

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DarkMatter is an Abu Dhabi-based intelligence and hacking firm, which is also believed to be under the FBI's radar in connection with possible cybercrimes.

The app already had five million Android downloads before it was removed by Google Play Store, according to a BBC report.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 24, 2019 05:02 pm

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