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The ToTok app was previously pulled from Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store in December. Pixabay

Google has removed the popular messaging app ToTok amid claims that it is being used for spying by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for mass surveillance for a second time.

The app was previously pulled from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store in December.


ToTok was allegedly used by the country to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound, and image of those who install it on their phones, 9to5Google reported on Friday.

According to the US officials familiar with the classified intelligence assessment, the app that works like Signal or Telegram has been downloaded millions of times on Android and iOS devices in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

ToTok surged to become one of the most downloaded social apps in the US last week, according to app rankings and research firm App Annie.


Google has removed the popular messaging app ToTok amid claims that it is being used for spying by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for mass surveillance for a second time. Pixabay

An investigation by NYT found that the firm behind ToTok is known as Breej Holding which is a front firm affiliated with DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence and hacking firm.

DarkMatter is already under an FBI investigation for possible cybercrimes.

ALSO READ: Scent of Your Partner’s T-Shirt May Help You To Have Good Sleep, Says Study

Earlier, the probe also linked ToTok to Pax AI, an Abu Dhabi-based data mining firm that appears to be tied to DarkMatter. (IANS)


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Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


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