Syrian Dictatorship Uses U.S. Technology to Spy on Internet Users

Friday, November 18, 2011
Bashar al-Assad, dictator of Syria
As part of its campaign to crush the ongoing political uprising, Syria’s government has utilized U.S.-manufactured technology to conduct Internet spying and block online access.
The technologies in question were developed by Blue Coat Systems and NetApp, both based in California. Blue Coat manufactures software that has allowed Syrian officials to monitor dissidents’ online activities and to block them from accessing certain websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
NetApp has made it possible for the government to store and archive emails from Syrians.
Both companies have denied selling their products to Syria, saying the government likely obtained the technology illegally through a third party.
The United States banned exports to Syria in 2004.
Three U.S. senators, Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Robert Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Christopher Coons (D-Delaware), wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Commerce Secretary John Bryson demanding an investigation into the matter.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
U.S. Probing Use of Surveillance Technology in Syria (by Sari Horwitz and Shyamantha Asokan, Washington Post)
Syria Crackdown Gets Italy Firm’s Aid With U.S.-Europe Spy Gear (by Ben Elgin and Vernon Silver, Bloomberg News)
Nokia and Siemens Helping Torture in Bahrain (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Iranian Journalist Sues Nokia and Siemens for Helping Iranian Dictators Spy (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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