By Joel Schectman and Christopher Bing
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Firefox browser maker Mozilla is blocking the United Arab Emirates’ government from serving as one of its internet security gatekeepers, citing Reuters reports on a UAE cyber espionage program.
Mozilla said in a statement on Tuesday it was rejecting the UAE’s bid to become a globally recognized internet security watchdog, empowered to certify the safety of websites for Firefox users.
Mozilla said it made the decision because cybersecurity firm DarkMatter would have administered the gatekeeper role and it had been linked by Reuters and other reports to a state-run hacking program.
Reuters reported in January that Abu Dhabi-based DarkMatter provided staff for a secret hacking operation, codenamed Project Raven, on behalf of an Emirati intelligence agency. The unit was largely comprised of former U.S. intelligence officials who conducted offensive cyber operations for the UAE government.
Former Raven operatives told Reuters that many DarkMatter executives were unaware
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