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Sunday , December 5 2021

MPs query Pegasus spyware … ‘Mosafer’ hit

KUWAIT CITY, July 25: MP Osama Al-Shaheen forwarded queries to Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Ali regarding the recent scandal known as ‘Pegasus spyware’. He said it was found out that 80 journalists from 17 news agencies have obtained 50,000 telephone numbers of individuals who are apparently victims of spying committed by NSO — a Zionist company. He added NSO allegedly developed a spying application and sold it to a number of countries including some Arab and Gulf countries. He pointed out that according to press reports, some countries and senior officials are among the spying victims and that Kuwait is included. The lawmaker asked if the ministry has conducted investigations on the issue, if Kuwait has been confirmed to be one of the victims, if there has been cooperation between the ministry or any other public Institution in Kuwait and NSO, procedures adopted by the ministry to provide information security and prevent any spying attempts. On the other hand, MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa forwarded queries to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Muhammad about the report published by American news website ‘Politico’ recently, stating that the final round of negotiations is ongoing for Qatar and Kuwait to receive Afghan translators and officials who have cooperated with the American forces during the latter’s stay in Afghanistan.

MP Abdullah Al-Mudaf asked Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali why citizens are required to provide a lot of information on Mosafer platform, considering most of the data have been provided to various authorities. He wonders why this is the case since the platform is being used only to confirm that the users are free of covid-19. He wants to know the total amount collected through the platform since its launching till date, share of the government compared to the share of the server provider, name of the server provider, and if it won the contract through a public bidding or direct contract. In case a tender was floated for this purpose, Al-Mudaf requested for copies of the offers submitted by competing companies. If this is done through direct contract, reason for doing so and if such method is legal.

MP Hassan Jawhar submitted the same queries on the issue to the minister. He pointed out the method of direct contracting adopted to settle this deal implies that the aim is to award the project to certain individuals in order to gain profits illegally. He said the minister should take the right decision; otherwise, he will be held accountable. MPs Khalid Al-Otaibi, Abdulkareem Al-Kandari, Thamer Al-Suwait and Muhammad Al- Mutair have submitted a bill on the establishment of the Governance Public Institution. According to the bill, the institution will lay down plans, as well as supervise and follow up the execution of governance applications in public institutions. The bill defines ‘governance’ as the proper and wise management of public institutions including strategies, organizational structures, provisions and procedures in managing these institutions. Governance also means defining and preventing potential hazards. The bill enumerates the covered public institutions as follows: Secretariat General of the Council of Ministers, ministries, public authorities and institutions with independent and affiliated budgets, Municipal Council, boards and committees with executive functions to be formed by the Cabinet, State Audit Bureau (SAB), and companies in which the State owns minimum of 25 percent of the capital.

Procedures
It has been reported the Afghan translators and officials will stay in Kuwait and Qatar for a certain period until the completion of security procedures, then they will be granted visas to enter the United States of America. The lawmaker wants to know if Kuwaiti-American negotiations have been conducted for this purpose. If yes; he asked about the result of such negotiations, total number of individuals who will be hosted by Kuwait, period of stay, and entity that will shoulder the cost of their stay including food, accommodation and medical treatment. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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