More than a dozen former U.S. intelligence operatives were recruited by the United Arab Emirates to to help the country spy on other governments, militants and human rights activists, Reuters reports in a new investigation. The secret team, codenamed Project Raven, reportedly worked from an Abu Dhabi mansion and used methods taught to them by the NSA to help the UAE hack into enemies' phones and computers—but is said to have become disillusioned by from the project after it started targeting Americans. The operatives told Reuters that they hacked into the iPhones of hundreds of activists, political leaders and suspected terrorists. It’s illegal for American intelligence contractors to share classified information, but there's no law banning them from sharing general spying techniques. However, if they were hacking U.S. networks or stealing the communications of Americans “it would be very illegal,” according to Rhea Siers, former NSA deputy assistant director. The FBI is now investigating whether Raven’s American staff leaked classified U.S. spying techniques and if they illegally targeted American networks.
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