Bradley Hope was in Abu Dhabi in 2009, the year the BlackBerry devices overheated. “If you put it next to your face it would almost burn,” he told CPJ in a phone interview. The BBC that year reported that a UAE telecom company had prompted local BlackBerry owners to install a rogue surveillance update disguised as a performance enhancement, accidentally sending phones into overdrive.
“I’ve had many experiences of these — sometimes clumsy — surveillance attempts,” Hope said.
More recently, Hope may have been singled out for more sophisticated surveillance.