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University of Cambridge Stops £ 400m Transaction with UAE Over Pegasus Spyware Claims | University of Cambridge

NS University of Cambridge The university’s deputy prime minister said it broke a record £ 400 million partnership with the United Arab Emirates following allegations that the Gulf states were using the controversial Pegasus hacking software.

Proposed transactionWas praised by the university in July as “a potential strategic partnership … helping to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the planet” – the largest donation of its kind over a decade in university history. Includes over £ 310 million in UAE.

However, in an interview, Cambridge University’s Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephen Toope said in an interview that there were no meetings or conversations with the UAE after exposures related to Pegasus, a software that can hack and secretly control mobile phones. Said.

A university spokesperson approached the UAE and other partnerships “in an open mind,” adding that “these are always subtly balanced assessments.” And with the university community. “

Guardians Pegasus Project More than 50,000 phone number leaks have been revealed that appear to be related to the interested people of clients of NSO Group, the Israeli company behind Pegasus. The main government responsible for choosing hundreds of UK numbers appeared to be the UAE, the Guardian found.

“There was more revelation about Pegasus and we really decided that it was not the right time to pursue this kind of truly ambitious plan in the UAE,” Toop told the Varsity Student Newspaper.

Vice President of the University of Cambridge, Professor Stephen Toup. Photo: Martindy / University of British Columbia

Asked if he would consider the deal in the future, Toup said: There is no secret arrangement. I think it will be necessary to have a solid discussion in the future. Alternatively, you may decide that it is not worth re-procuring. I honestly don’t know. “

Mr. Toup said he had never met the UAE’s ruling prince and had no talks with anyone in the state. “There are existing university-wide relationships at the undergraduate and individual academic levels, but there is no conversation about big projects,” he said. “We recognize the risks of dealing with many states around the world, but I think it’s worth discussing.”

The Guardian’s document detailing “Co-branding of the UAE and the University of Cambridge” and news of potential collaboration with a new Gulf-based institute are financial relations with a notorious prince on suspicion of human rights abuses. Raised protests about the outlook. There is little democratic institution or hostility to women’s rights, not just LGBTQ + people.

The partnership discussion was supported by the university’s internal combustion engine, despite concerns. However, Toope’s remarks suggest that it was the alleged use of the controversial hacking software by the UAE that ended the negotiations.

In July, shortly after the announcement of the Cambridge-UAE partnership, the Pegasus Project displayed over 400 UK mobile numbers on the leak list of numbers identified by NSO government clients between 2017 and 2019. I made it clear. The UAE had access to Pegasus in 40 countries, and major countries were linked to UK numbers.

The Cambridge-UAE project included plans to improve and overhaul the Joint Innovation Institute and the Emirate Education System, working on climate change and energy transformation. “Is these important enough to think that they have the potential to mitigate risk? I don’t know the answer frankly,” said Toup, who will resign at the end of the year.

Dubai, the emirate city governed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is also believed to have been a client of the NSO. Both the phone calls of Princess Latifah, daughter of Sheikh Mohammed, and Princess Haya, a former wife who left the country in 2019 and came to the UK, were shown in the data.

Judge of the High Court last week Domination Sheikh Mohammed hacked Princess Haya’s phone using Pegasus spyware for illegal abuse of power and trust.

At that time, Dubai did not respond to Guardian’s request for comment on the Pegasus Project. Sheikh Mohammed did not respond, but is understood to deny attempting to hack Latifah or her friends and associates’ phones or ordering others to do so.

The NSO said in multiple statements that the fact that the number appeared on the leaked list does not indicate whether the number was subject to monitoring using Pegasus. “This list is not a list of Pegasus targets or potential targets,” the company said. “The numbers in the list have nothing to do with NSO Group.”

A university spokesperson said: “The University of Cambridge has numerous partnerships with governments and organizations around the world. It approaches the UAE like any potential partnership. It is open-minded, through collaborative research, education and innovation. , Strictly evaluate opportunities to contribute to society for all issues. “

University of Cambridge Stops £ 400m Transaction with UAE Over Pegasus Spyware Claims | University of Cambridge

Source link University of Cambridge Stops £ 400m Transaction with UAE Over Pegasus Spyware Claims | University of Cambridge

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