back to article Saudi Arabia: They liked Hacking Team so much they tried to buy the company

The Saudi Arabian government came close to buying a majority stake in Italian surveillance software firm Hacking Team last year. Wafic Saïd – a UK-based, Syrian-born businessman who is friends with the Saudi royal family – and Ronald Spogli, a former US ambassador to Italy, who indirectly owned a stake in Hacking Team, tried …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Needs fixing

    "... Hacking Team chief exec David Vincenzetti expressed support for the idea of setting up a new company outside of Europe and away from the reach of tighter export controls....."

    Let me translate that for you

    "....Hacking Team chief exec David Vincenzetti expressed support for the idea of setting up a new company outside of Europe and away from the reach of people with at least some morals"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Needs fixing

      Please check how many people make business with the Saudis, selling them everything they like just because they can spend boatloads of money... it's always interesting how much moral you can buy...

      Wasn't UK to stop any ongoing investigations on a sale of EF-2000s to Saudi Arabia citing "national interest"?

    2. Arctic fox
      Headmaster

      @Lost all faith Re: "..........setting up a new company outside of Europe................"

      Apart from the clear intention of the "gentleman" concerned to avoid oversight (which I agree with you was his clear aim) I would hesitate to suggest that "some morals" can only be found in Europe. Indeed I often wonder what happened to morals in the Western World as far as "doing business is concerned". We have after all seen far too many examples of Western companies who are very willing to go along with local "custom and practice". Indeed we have from time to time seen examples of said companies using the same tactics here in the "First World" - hmmm?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Re: @Lost all faith "..........setting up a new company outside of Europe................"

        Notice I said "some" morals quite deliberately.

        All morals go out when to comes to the arms trade, where the general consensus seems to be if we don't sell to them, someone else will, so we may as well make the money.

        1. asdf

          Re: @Lost all faith "..........setting up a new company outside of Europe................"

          >where the general consensus seems to be if we don't sell to them, someone else will, so we may as well make the money.

          Which sounds great until your prior business buddy Saddam is suddenly not such a buddy any more.

      2. asdf

        Re: @Lost all faith "..........setting up a new company outside of Europe................"

        > Indeed I often wonder what happened to morals in the Western World as far as "doing business is concerned"

        Baby Boomers took charge. Next question.

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: Baby Boomers@Lost all faith

          Like those baby boomers who were running Standard Oil when they were caught refueling U-Boats? Or maybe the ones at Siemens selling components to the U.S. Navy during WWII? Or Watson Sr. and DeHoMag?

          Ahead of their time, they were.

          No generation has a monopoly on traitors and scoundrels. Imagine how dull Shakespeare would be if all that stuff started in the 1960s.

          1. asdf

            Re: Baby Boomers@Lost all faith

            >No generation has a monopoly on traitors and scoundrels.

            No but only one's motto was greed is good and made it socially acceptable to be a scoundrel as long as you were getting paid (funny how few people went to jail over the 2007 economic meltdown caused in large part by systemic fraud). Gordon Gekko was the face of that generation.

            1. asdf

              Re: Baby Boomers@Lost all faith

              In retrospect I should have posted this AC as I am ranting lol. The comparison is between different generations 1%ers as most Boomers are worse off than their kids will be come retirement time.

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Il Fatto Quotidiano

    It seems Eric Pickles now has a title for his autobiography.

  3. Vimes

    The leaked emails also seem to show also that UKTI (a British government institution that's supposed to help promote British businesses abroad) seemed to be trying to help the Italian company Hacking Team by offering them places at trade shows run by UKTI.

    Why is the British government helping to support an Italian company, and one that seems to be on legally dubious grounds at best?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      The clue is "a British government institution" - they presumably thought that "hacking team" was a British manufacture of tweed jackets for a weekend's rough shooting

  4. asdf

    saudi luck

    So Saudi missed buying a hacking team that got unbelievably wtfpwnd no? Generally a company of their nature doesn't want to be a household name to the IT press so the royalty are probably grateful it fell through (much like Microhoo but on a much smaller scale).

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021