Popular chat app ToTok has been suspended from Google Play Store and Apple App Store after US intelligent officials revealed that it is a spy tool that sends data from users to the government of the United Arab Emirates.
The app offers free unlimited voice, video calling and messaging to anyone with an internet connection.
ToTok became popular especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after other messaging apps such as Whatsapp were blocked.
The US intelligence found that the app doesnt guarantee end-to-end encryption which is a feature that protects data from spies, despite promising “fast and secure calling and messaging services”.
“It is used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to try to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image of those who install it on their phones,” reported the New York Times.
The firm behind ToTok, Breej Holding, is most likely a front company affiliated with DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence and hacking firm where Emirati intelligence officials, former National Security Agency employees and former Israeli military intelligence operatives work.
According to experts quoted by the NYT, ToTok appears to have been relatively easy to develop, seemingly a copy of a Chinese messaging app offering free video calls, YeeCall, slightly customized for English and Arabic audiences.