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Brit firm implicated in Mubarak snooping?

Gamma International reportedly approached Mubarak's regime to sell surveillance software for snooping on dissidents.

Egypt

A British company allegedly tried to sell access to Egyptian dissidents' web accounts to the country's now ousted Government.

Documents found last month showed British firm Gamma International offered access to files on computers targeted by the previous regime headed by Hosni Mubarak, the Washington Times reported.

The proposal from Gamma, offering products from its FinFisher portfolio, was posted online by Egyptian activist and physician Mostafa Hussein.

He claimed the documents, which were seized during a raid on the headquarters of the country's state security service, provided "important evidence of the intent of the state security and investigation division not to respect our privacy."

Access to Gmail, Skype, Hotmail and Yahoo accounts were reportedly on offer from Gamma.

We contacted Gamma for comment on the reports, but it had given no response at the time of publication.

However, Peter Lloyd, an attorney for Gamma International, told the Washington Times the company had not sold FinFisher software to the former Egyptian Government.

"Gamma complies in all its dealings with all applicable UK laws and regulations," Lloyd added.

"Gamma did not supply to Egypt but in any event it would not be appropriate for Gamma to make public details of its transactions with any customer."

The company's headquarters are based in Andover. Its FinFisher product is solely targeted at law enforcement and intelligence bodies.

According to Gamma's website, FinFisher products "give intelligence agencies advanced tools for unsurpassed IT investigation and surveillance techniques within the IT environment."

Chief research officer at F-Secure, Mikko Hypponen, said it was "unsettling" big corporations were developing backdoors, exploits and Trojans, even if they were designed for "lawful interception."

"In theory, there's nothing wrong in lawful interception," Hypponen added in a blog.

"When it's done by the police. In a democratic nation. With a court order. And where the suspect is actually guilty. In all other cases, it is problematic."

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