Saudi Arabia appears to be exploiting weaknesses in the global mobile telecoms network to track its citizens as they travel around the US, according to a whistleblower who has shown the Guardian millions of alleged secret tracking requests.
Data revealed by the whistleblower, who is seeking to expose vulnerabilities in a global messaging system called SS7, appears to suggest a systematic spying campaign by the kingdom, according to experts.
The data suggests that millions of secret tracking requests emanated from Saudi Arabia over a four-month period beginning in November 2019.
The tracking requests, which sought to establish the US location of Saudi–registered phones, appeared to originate from Saudi’s three biggest mobile phone companies.
The whistleblower said they were unable to find any legitimate reason for the high volume of the requests for location information. “There is no other explanation, no other technical reason to do this. Saudi Arabia is weaponising mobile technologies,” the whistleblower claimed. The data leaked by