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Egypt Accused of Spying on COP27 Attendees

The UN Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) said that it was probing allegations that COP27 host Egypt was “monitoring” participants. Berlin had complained about the purported monitoring taking place at its pavilion to the Egyptian government. The German Foreign Ministry said it expected “all participants in the UN climate conference to be able to work and negotiate under safe conditions.” Cairo has rejected the accusations. The summit is being jointly secured by the UNDSS and the Egyptian police. Even the part of the venue designated as United Nations territory is secured by Egyptian personnel, the UN confirmed, citing the “scale and complexity of providing security at a large scale event” as the reason for deploying this rather controversial help. Egypt has been keen on hosting the climate summit to improve its international reputation. However, the country’s controversial human rights record has been at the center of the global convention since it launched last week. Ahead of the summit, the New York-based Human Rights Watch warned of “sweeping surveillance plans.” It pointed to the conspicuous practice of equipping hundreds of taxis in Sharm el-Sheikh with cameras, as well as the Egyptian smartphone app for attendees, which reportedly requires phone, microphone and location access.