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Monday, May 30, 2011

Egyptians freak over Israeli online TV software

There is an Israeli company called "Online TV Software" that, for a fee, allows you to watch thousands of satellite channels on your PC.

This is no big deal; there are lots of similar services.

However, Egyptians are freaking out upon finding out that the software was actually based out of Israel, and now Arabic media has stories about how the Mossad is using this software to monitor Egyptian Internet users.

Their main evidence was their "discovery" (which is trivial) that the IP address of the website is in Ramat Gan, Israel.

Arabic media described the software this way:

Within minutes after installing the program, the Mossad receives details of Egyptians through their computers inside their homes - their e-mail addresses, correspondence, telephone and personal uses of the computers, and the private information about hobbies and whether they are educated or a lover of adult movies and who they correspond with, and what are their personal views and whether they are politically active.
The software is not specifically marketed to Egyptians. The main webpage is in French.

Now it is possible that the program does include spyware to help determine some of these things - there are lots of such programs out there - but the evidence that the Mossad is behind this is, literally, zero. Why would the Mossad base such a company out of Israel if they want to hide this?

Some Egyptian who knows a tiny amount about computers did a geolocate of the IP address and found that the company was Israeli, he freaked out and contacted a newspaper, and now the paranoia has taken over.