Internet traffic in Syria is heavily filtered, including social media and instant messaging applications such as Skype, and content sharing sites such as Reddit and Metacafe. IP addresses and domain names, along with entire network regions, are unavailable for access within Syria. In December 2011, hacktivist group Telecomix leaked of 600GB of logs from Blue Coat Systems’ products used to filter internet traffic in the country. The sale of this type of hardware to Syria is banned by United States and European Union.
The California-based firm denied selling the software to the Syrian government, but confirmed the authenticity of the logs.
A piece by The Conversation, called “Lessons on Censorship from Syria’s Internet filter machines” discusses methods used to discover the tools that governments employ to conduct censorship. The Citizen Lab has published a number of reports on Blue Coat Systems, and two of them, “Planet Blue Coat: Mapping Global Censorship and Surveillance Tools” and “Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux,” were mentioned in the article.
The article was also published on MyBroadband.