Revealed: COP28 president linked to spyware experts via ‘AI university’

Revealed: COP28 president linked to spyware experts via ‘AI university’

There are fears that guests and journalists could be spied on at the international climate conference in Dubai.

The president of international climate conference COP28 works with surveillance experts linked to a phone tapping scandal and the “Chinese military industrial complex”, openDemocracy can reveal.

Sultan Al Jaber – who is the chair of a new “AI university” in the United Arab Emirates as well as the organiser of COP, which begins on Thursday – has claimed that AI will “unlock advances in climate progress”.

But his connections to the global surveillance industry underline concerns that the UAE may spy on delegates and campaigners at this week’s UN climate conference.

The Youth Climate Movement, an international activist network, has warned its members who are travelling to COP that “authorities can monitor civilians’ activity both online and offline with ease” and that “delegations should be prepared for surveillance as a method of intimidation”.

British citizens attending COP28 “will expose themselves to a tightly knit network of surveillance and monitoring”, according to Andreas Krieg of King’s College London – who also told openDemocracy that “electronic devices brought to the UAE have to be assumed to be infiltrated”.

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