Rights groups call for Lebanon inquiry on device spying

AP News
Posted: Jan 24, 2018 7:58 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — Rights groups are calling on Lebanon to open an investigation into a global surveillance network based out of the country's General Security directorate.

Security firms revealed the existence of the network five days ago. Lookout, Inc. and the Electronic Frontier Foundation said the network was the largest surveillance scheme to be uncovered to target smartphones and mobile devices, instead of computers and servers. They say the spy net is active in at least 21 countries, including the U.S. and European nations.

Seven rights groups, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch, called on Lebanon's general prosecutor to shut down any "arbitrary surveillance programs."

General Security director Abbas Ibrahim acknowledged electronic surveillance methods but told local TV station LBC: "Lebanon is secure, not a security state."