The Citizen Lab is pleased to announce the release of Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux. In this report, we use a combination of network measurement and scanning methods and tools to identify instances of Blue Coat ProxySG and PacketShaper devices. This equipment can be used to secure and maintain networks, but can also be used to implement politically-motivated restrictions on access to information, and monitor and record private communications. We found Blue Coat devices on public networks of 83 countries. Included in these countries are regimes with questionable human rights records, and three countries that are subject to US sanctions: Iran, Syria, and Sudan.
A new Citizen Lab report, entitled O Pakistan, We Stand on Guard for Thee: An Analysis of Canada-based Netsweeper’s Role in Pakistan’s Censorship Regime, has found that Canada-based Netsweeper filtering products have been installed in Pakistan, and are being used for filtering political and social web content.
This blog post reports on a malware attack in which a compromised version of Kakao Talk, an Android-based mobile messaging client, was sent in a highly-targeted email to a prominent individual in the Tibetan community. The malware is designed to send a user’s contacts, SMS message history, and cellular network location to attackers. This post was updated on 18 April 2013.
Blue Coat Devices capable of filtering, censorship, and surveillance are being used around the world. 61 of these Blue Coat appliances are on public or government networks in countries with a history of concerns over human rights, surveillance, and censorship. Our findings support the need for national and international scrutiny of Blue Coat implementations in the countries we have identified, and a closer look at the global proliferation of “dual-use” information and communication technologies.
This is an update to our November 2011 report titledThe Canadian Connection: An investigation of Syrian government and Hezbullah web hosting in Canada, which examined the use of web servers based in Canada, the U.S., and European countries to host Syrian government websites and websites of the Lebanese political party Hezbullah. Our findings indicate that, while many of the websites we examined in 2011 have changed hosting providers, a number of Syrian government and Hezbullah websites still maintain an online presence through the services of North American and European web hosts.
Ethiopia remains a dangerous country in which to express dissent online. The recent conviction of a number of bloggers and journalists, combined with the country’s history of filtering critical political content online, demonstrates the restrictive nature of the country’s information environment. This blog post describes recent developments in the country and reports on the results of ONI testing conducted in September 2012.
After years spent as one of the world’s most strictly controlled information environments, the government of Burma has recently begun to open up access to previously censored online content. Recent OpenNet Initiative testing has confirmed these changes, finding a variety of opposition websites, critical blogs and foreign news sites to be accessible after years of blocking. This ONI blog post discusses recent developments in Burma and reports on the results of testing conducted in Burma in August 2012.
Online freedom of expression continues to be threatened in Vietnam, as recently proposed regulations and the ongoing detainment and harassment of bloggers combine with an already strict regime of Internet filtering to further restrict information openness. This OpenNet Initiative blog post describes these new developments and reports on the results of testing conducted in Vietnam from April to August 2012.