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 appendix contains countries of interest in which Blue Coat devices were located.
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.
OpenNet Initiative research has documented that web filtering applied by India-based ISPs is also filtering content for customers of an ISP in Oman. This “upstream filtering” is restricting access to news sites, political blogs and file sharing sites for customer’s of Omantel, who have limited opportunities for recourse. Combined with the significant filtering implemented by Omantel itself, this essentially puts users in Oman behind multiple layers of national-level filtering.
The new book, Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy, features a chapter by Professor Deibert, entitled “International Mechanisms of Cyberspace Controls”.
The Citizen Lab analyzes a recent targeted malware attack against the Tibetan community spoofing the June 14, 2012 resolution of the European Parliament (EP) on the human rights situation in Tibet. While such repurposing of authentic content for use as a malware delivery mechanism is not unusual, this incident raises serious questions surrounding the use of legitimate political resources for illegitimate ends.
This post is the first in a series of analyses that the Citizen Lab is preparing regarding the urgent and ongoing threat presented by information operations deployed against Tibetans and others who advocate for Tibetan rights and freedoms, including in Tibetan areas of China.
Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert, Senior Fellow Rafal Rohozinski and Research Manager Masashi Crete-Nishihata have published an article in the February 2012 issue of Security Dialogue titled Cyclones in cyberspace: Information shaping and denial in the 2008 Russia–Georgia war.
In response to the open call of the newly-established United Nations Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises for input regarding the Working Group’s key thematic priorities and activities, the Citizen Lab submitted its views on the urgent need for greater assessment of and guidance surrounding the surveillance and Internet filtering technology sector.
Additional evidence gathered by the Citizen Lab from Burma since the publication of Behind Blue Coat has provided further confirmation that Blue Coat’s devices are presently in use in the country.