Qatar almost bought spy devices from a Swiss company

It’s been reported that Qatar, the controversial host of the FIFA World Cup, wanted to buy surveillance technology from a Swiss company.

According to a report in SonntagsBlick, representatives of the Qatari army contacted Boger Electronics, in the canton of Appenzell, eight years ago.

Qatar was interested in buying the IMSI-Catcher, surveillance devices that can tap mobile phones. The IMSI-catcher works by simulating a fake relay antenna, inserting itself between the network of the telephone operator and the monitored equipment.

The Qatari order is believed to have been worth about six million francs. The State Secretariat for the Economy had apparently given the green light for the deal and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Intelligence Service didn’t object. 

However, the deal didn’t go ahead as, according to Boger Electronics, getting full authorisation from the Swiss Government would have taken too long.




More from Bitesize News

  • Swiss World Cup dreams destroyed

    Switzerland’s World Cup dreams are over after a 6-1 drubbing by Portugal last night – its worst result since 1963.

  • Police hunt for pumpkin throwers

    Police in canton Aargau are hunting for mysterious pumpkin throwers.

  • Hundreds cut off in Valley

    Hundreds of people in the Calanca Valley in southern Graubünden remain cut off from the world after a rockfall blocked the main road heading to three villages on Sunday evening.

  • Not enough butter

    We won’t make enough butter next year, so the Federal Agriculture Office is allowing 3,000 tonnes to be imported next month.

  • New forest in Geneva

    A new forest is being created in Geneva. 400 trees are being planted around the development of the educational centre at CERN,

  • Postman fined for hitting same person - twice

    A postman in Lausanne has been fined for hitting the same person twice in the same day with his electric tricycle last year.