United Nations Calls For Investigation Into Alleged Saudi Hacking of Bezos’ iPhone

January 22, 2020 by Dan McCue
FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2017, file photo, Jeff Bezos attends the premiere of "The Post" at The Newseum in Washington. United Nations experts on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 have called for "immediate investigation" by the United States into information they received that suggests that Jeff Bezos' phone was hacked after receiving a file sent from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's WhatsApp account. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File)

The United Nations called for an immediate investigation Wednesday into the alleged involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ iPhone in 2018.

“The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia,” the UN statement said.

It continues, “The alleged hacking of Mr. Bezos’s phone, and those of others, demands immediate investigation by the U.S. and other relevant authorities, including investigation of the continuous, multi-year, direct and personal involvement of the Crown Prince in efforts to target perceived opponents.”

Bezos claims he was hacked after he received a video from a WhatsApp account reportedly belonging to the Saudi crown prince.

Afterwards he said, he discovered his phone was sending out unusually large volumes of data.

Bezos also claims to have received a message from the crown prince’s account suggesting the prince had intimate knowledge of the Amazon founder’s private life.

The billionaire then had a forensic analysis carried out by the Washington-based business advisory firm FTI Consulting, which concluded with “medium to high confidence” that Bezos’ iPhone was hacked by malware coming from a Whatsapp account used by the Saudi crown prince.

Bezos, has in the past, accused Saudi authorities of targeting him because he owned The Washington Post and the newspaper aggressively reported on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who was one of its columnists and a longtime critic of the Saudi government.

The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing.

The Saudi embassy in Washington on Wednesday called the allegations “absurd.”

“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd. We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out,” it said via Twitter.

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