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German lawyer takes Google to Irish High Court over alleged hacking of his gmail account

The law scholar claims that “Qatari based actors” attempted to unlawfully access his gmail account.

Image: Shutterstock/Jarretera

A PROMINENT GERMAN lawyer has brought proceedings before the Irish High Court over what he claims are several attempts by parties based in the Middle East to hack his private email account.

Mark Somos claims that in recent weeks and months he has been the subject of attempts to unlawfully access his gmail account by an unknown individual using a Qatari phone number.

Somos, who is represented in his proceedings before the Irish Courts by Niall Buckley Bl, is an international law scholar, and has acted as counsel in several International Court of Justice cases.

He claims that the hacking has been instigated by “Qatari based actors” arising out of his representation of several victims of human rights abuses by the State of Qatar.

Somos says that he has received warnings from the German security authorities about attempts by Qatar to hack his and his client’s phones and computers.

On behalf of his clients, who Somos said have been placed under extensive police protection in Germany, he has submitted complaints to multiple United Nations bodies, including the Human Rights Council.

Last month he claims he received an alert that somebody using a Qatari phone number reset the recovery email and recovery number for his personal google address.

The full number was masked, but he claims the international dialing code for Qatar was displayed. As a result of this he checked various devices recently used to access his Gmail account.

These include an attempt by somebody using an IP address from a device used in a park in Heidelberg in Germany, where he is based.

He also has tried to geo-locate other IP addresses of devices that he claims have attempted to hack his account.

He claims the attempts are a breach of his rights, including his right to privacy, adding that the attempted hacks have caused him considerable distress.

He now seeks various orders against the internet giants to help him and his lawyers identify who is behind the hacks, so he can bring proceedings against them.

He sought information from the internet giant, but was informed it requires an order from the courts before it will supply such information.

The action is before the Irish courts as Google’s Dublin facility is its European, African and Middle East headquarters.

In his action Somos seeks various orders, including orders requiring Google Ireland Ltd. to disclose the identity of who unlawfully accessed his Gmail account on dates in December 2019 and January of this year.

He also seeks an order that he be provided with the identifying particulars of the devices who he claims have unlawfully accessed his Gmail account.

The action was briefly mentioned on Thursday to Justice Leonie Reynolds, who had given Somos permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Google who adjourned the action to a date next week.

About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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