NGOs and cybersecurity experts warn that a COP27 app to "help" participants at the climate change summit easily and effectively allows President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s regime to surveil attendees, including top diplomats and Egyptian activists

COP27 app gives Egypt’s Sisi access to every move attendees make

NGOs and cybersecurity experts warn that a COP27 app to "help" participants at the climate change summit easily and effectively allows President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s regime to surveil attendees, including top diplomats and Egyptian activists

The 2022 UN Climate Change Conference, which began on Sunday, November 6 in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, is a summit under tight surveillance. Human rights groups and cybersecurity experts believe the Egyptian application made available to COP27 participants is a weapon of massive espionage for President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s regime.

"It’s not the official UN application that’s the problem; it’s the one developed by the Egyptian government that bothers us," explained Katharina Rall, senior environment researcher at Human Rights Watch, who participated in the NGO’s investigation into the repressive measures put in place by Egypt ahead of COP27.

The Egyptian app, which was rolled out on October 24, is supposed to "improve the COP27 experience for all participants". It allows users to manage flight and hotel reservations, get information about Covid-19, and provides agendas for on-site meetings as well as a calendar of negotiations and roundtables.

The all-in-one tool has already been downloaded by more than 5,000 delegates and visitors (out of a total of 44,000 registered participants) who were probably reassured by the fact that this Egyptian application is promoted on the official UN website for the COP27.

© France24 2022

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