Loujain Al Hathloul, a Saudi Arabia's human rights activist, accused three former U.S. intelligence officers of illegally hacking her iPhone, monitoring her footsteps, and withdrawing confidential data clandestinely from her phone. This happened before Loujain got arrested for the UAE hacking operations. Sources claimed that the U.S. intels had agreed their involvement behind the wrongdoings.
The prominent activist was imprisoned in her home country and tortured. It was found that the hacking operations which were executed on behalf of the UAE by the three former U.S. military officials directed them to Loujain's iPhone. "This action arises out of the unlawful actions by Defendant DarkMatter Group ("DarkMatter") and its former senior executives, Defendants Marc Baier, Ryan Adams, and Daniel Gericke, to hack Ms. Alhathloul's iPhone", said The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in their complaint report.
The hack was carried out by using the U.S. cyber technology systems, where all the computing technologies are procured and based from the United States itself. As per the lawsuit filed by Loujain in a U.S. district court in Oregon on the three men, they have "used this technology to target and breach Apple's computer servers located in the United States in order to infect Ms. Alhathloul's phone with malware."
Loujain Al Hathloul started her women's activist journey in 2013. She was a student at the University of British Columbia then. To support young girls, she participated in the Saudi women's rights movement as a part of social media campaigns. Later, she became the face of Saudi Arabia for supporting and fighting for women's rights. She was arrested for the first time in 2014 for endeavoring to cross the UAE borders. She was held captive for 73 days before her release.
After that, Loujain was arrested in March 2018 again, followed by a series of imprisonments. Reports claimed that Loujain was interrogated ruthlessly, tortured with electric shocks, sexually harassed, flogged, beaten, and whipped. In May 2018, the activist was taken into custody by the Abu Dhabi police while going to the university in UAE. She was abruptly brought to Saudi on their private jet, vetoed her liberty to travel, and again imprisoned her in July 2018.
An investigation report by Reuters stated that Loujain al-Hathloul was previously earmarked in 2017 by some U.S.intels under the Dark Matter program called Project Raven. They considered her as a threat to the nation, and hacked into her iPhone. "During the course of DarkMatter's surveillance of Ms. Alhathloul, DarkMatter assigned her the codename "Purple Sword." This hacking preceded her arrest in the UAE and rendition to Saudi Arabia", the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit filed on Loujain's arrest also said that "the DarkMatter used Apple's Messages app, the Apple Push Notification Service, the identity servers, and the iCloud servers to deploy an iOS exploit and malware to Ms. Alhathloul's device, surveil her communications, and exfiltrate data to a DarkMatter controlled server." Her arrest has not only caused Loujain Al Hathloul a lot of damage to her name and fame as an activist, but she also suffered physically and mentally.
"Ms. Alhathloul has suffered damages in an amount to be determined at trial as a result of her persecution as a crime against humanity. The acts and omissions of Defendants Baier, Adams, and Gericke were deliberate, willful, intentional, wanton, malicious, and oppressive, and should be punished by an award of punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial", the lawsuit declares.