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Kuwait lacks mass surveillance: Interior Ministry

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Abu Dhabi: A fake London-based account posted two-year-old tapes on social media suggesting that Kuwait State Security is closely monitoring a number of citizens.

The leaks come at a suspicious time ahead of the Kuwaiti National Assembly’s vote on a no-confidence motion against Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anas Al Saleh scheduled for August 28, local media reported.

In the tapes, state security director Talal Al Saqr appeared with Sheikh Hamad Al Mubarak Al Sabah, son of former Kuwaiti prime minister Hamad Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah, Al Qabas reported.

The motion of censure can only be adopted if the majority of deputies vote in favor.

Minister Al Saleh quickly commented on the leaks, which spoke of spying on a number of citizens and monitoring their social media accounts. Al Saleh has set up an investigative committee that will deliver its findings within 48 hours, Al Qabas said.

High-level security sources told Al Qabas that the leaks date back to 2018, when the former interior minister was in charge. The sources said the State Security Agency does not have citizen spying devices and that the leaks actually confirm that Kuwait does not have mass surveillance devices.

Kuwait State Security Service Director Talal Al Saqr was shown telling Al Sabah in the leaked videos that his follow-up on some accounts was only modest individual attempts to track (social media) accounts, ”Al Qabas reported.

The sources said talks with State Security were recorded and kept to ensure there were no violations of the law.

Sources say questions have been raised as to who was behind the leaks and how they hacked state security, describing the leaks as “high treason” for which the officer in charge must be held accountable. .

“And everyone who distributed and published these secret meetings must also be brought to justice,” the sources said.

Mass surveillance is the complex surveillance of a whole or a substantial fraction of a population.

Surveillance is often carried out by local and federal governments or government organizations, such as the NSA and the FBI, but it can also be carried out by companies (either on behalf of governments or on their own initiative).

Depending on the laws and judicial systems of each nation, the legality and authorization required to engage in mass surveillance varies.

Mass surveillance has often been cited as necessary to fight terrorism, prevent crime and social unrest, protect national security and control the population. Conversely, mass surveillance has also often been criticized for violating privacy rights, limiting civil and political rights and freedoms, and being illegal in some legal or constitutional systems.

Another criticism is that the increase in mass surveillance could lead to the development of a surveillance state or an electronic police state where civil liberties are violated or political dissent is undermined by COINTELPRO-like programs. . Such a state could be called a totalitarian state.

In 2013, the practice of mass surveillance by world governments was called into question after Edward Snowden’s 2013 global surveillance disclosure of the practices of the United States National Security Agency (NSA). Reports based on documents Snowden leaked to various media have sparked a debate about civil liberties and privacy rights in the digital age.

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