CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Mosque chairman’s phone number on UAE list

Anger over leak acquired by tech company

23 July, 2021 — By Helen Chapman

Finsbury Park mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar

THE chairman of Finsbury Park mosque was among 400 people whose mobile phone number appeared in a leaked list acquired by a tech company.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of 40 countries that had access to the NSO Group’s data, the Guardian reported this week.

Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar said: “I am shocked and angry that my phone has been hacked since 2018 by the UAE government.

“I cannot understand why, since I have never been in the UAE, nor have I had any involvement with the country.”

He added: “As a British citizen, I should not have to even consider the thought of a ­foreign government hacking my phone here in the UK.

“It is abhorrent to have my personal liberty breached in this way by a country that has an established record of human rights abuses and persecuting dissidents.”

Mr Kozbar’s number appeared in the data in 2018.

The NSO Group told the Guardian’s investigation: “Such services are openly available to anyone, anywhere, and anytime, and are commonly used by governmental agencies for numerous purposes, as well as by private companies worldwide. It is also beyond dispute that the data has many legitimate and entirely proper uses.”

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