ToTok messaging app is no longer found on the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. According to online sources, it has everything to do with the government surveillance reports update. While the info on this is scarce, ToTok developer has already issued a statement to address this question. However, the statement has done little to disprove the allegations and is only strict denial at this point.
ToTok is removed by the two largest app stores in the world market, but it is not shut down, so users that already use it can continue to do so. However, the UAE officials have sufficient data to connect the app with the developer DarkMatter, which is an organization comprised of ex-Israeli military intelligence and which is being investigated by the FBI.
The two main people behind ToTok are its co-founders Long and Giac, who have addressed the allegations in a manner harshly condemned by other online sources. The entire news broke out in an article by The New York Times, but the founders of the app have reportedly only managed to address selected parts of the accusations and instead offer counter accusations that seem to miss the point entirely.
Mainly the article by The New York Times has stated that ToTok is a “spy tool built by the Israeli intel officers” which serves to “track personal appointments of its users”. However, the grim message does not end there, as the article implies that this is used to track and document “extremely personal info from the users, which includes conversations, relationships, movements, photos, sounds, and appointments. In other words, they say it is a tracking spy tool and to make matters worse, it was already downloaded millions of times in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
The developer of ToTok, Breej Holding, is believed to be closely associated with Abu Dhabi’s DarkMatter, the mentioned cyber intelligence and hacking agency, which is in FBI’s crosshairs for some time now. The co-founders, Long and Giac, have declared that the service is down as it will no longer receive any updates for users who have it on their device, nor will be downloadable from Google Play and the iTunes App Store. However, the two spokesmen reassured the public that the app will be back soon and that it is only down due to technical difficulties.
But, computer experts, government sectors, the New York Times, and a large number of the population are quite displeased with the reply these two gentlemen gave regarding the accusations. Firstly, Long and Giac have called the entire thing “absurd”. They have admitted that “The app does track user’s appointments” which is a part of its functionality to aid the user to be organized. But, furthermore, they have instead accused the UAE government and the Israeli government are in cahoots, which is baffling people online and seems to miss the point entirely. They are claiming the app does just what is a part of its functionality, and nothing more, and are claiming that a “former NSA agent has done a technical analysis” on the app, finding that there is nothing illegal or wrong with it. The identity of this agent was not provided nor any report of that kind by Giac and Long.
Since they have failed to disprove the allegations and accusations stated in The New York Times article, and because their statement lacked any real merit, Google Play and iTunes App Store no longer distribute ToTok. The full article, however, addressed the matter quite seriously, naming organizations, methods, and even buildings included in this breach of privacy and personal data theft.