ToTok or not ToTok, that is the question


ToTok or not ToTok, that is the question

ToTok is an Emirati messaging app that the UAE government is secretly using to spy on people.   (You know, like that weird alias account your parents made to spy on your Facebook back in the day). 


Apparently, ToTok has nothing to do with the popular video-making app, TikTok. Even more disappointingly, it has nothing to do with Ke$ha’s 2008 hit single, TiK ToK. 


In any case, the party don’t stop (oh oh oh oooh) for the UAE who probably spend hours combing through millions of messages that consist of things like “U up lol” and “dtf?” 


It’s clipped for the Emiratis who don’t have access to popular apps like WhatsApp or Skype. ToTok records every “conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image,” of users, according to the NY Times. It’s pretty much like living in the Bachelor mansion, but there’s no mediocre-looking pilot/single dad handing out roses.


The company that makes ToTok, Pax, is run by Andrew Jackson. (Not the former American President Andrew Jackson who massacred a bunch Native Americans in what was possibly the darkest moment of our nation’s history). Apparently this Andrew Jackson is an Irish data scientist, but tbh he also seems problematic. 


Pax is also affiliated with another shady company called DarkMatter. The FBI recently started investigating DarkMatter for links to any cyber crimes. Sly work, FBI. You think the fact that the company is literally named after a Star Wars nemesis might’ve tipped you off sooner. 


You have to applaud Pax for literally giving no shits. On LinkedIn, their employees brag about creating a “message intelligence platform” and secretly spying on people. Even super villains need LinkedIn to get a leg up in their career, every once in a while.


Millions of people have downloaded ToTok thanks to a fire advertising campaign. It promised that ToTok is “fast and secure.” There hasn’t been such major false advertising since Kendall Jenner pretended that Pepsi was going to solve the Black Lives Matter crisis. 


To be fair, the ToTok privacy policy does say: ““We may share your personal data with group companies.” What it really should say is: “we’re going to read all your embarrassing drunk texts to find out if you’re a national security threat. Thx bye.” 

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