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 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.
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.
A new report, entitled The Canadian Connection: An investigation of Syrian government and Hezbullah web hosting in Canada, continues Citizen Lab research into the intersection of the private sector, authoritarianism, and cyberspace regulation, turning our attention to a component of the Internet that does not typically receive the same amount of attention as filtering, surveillance, and computer network attack products and services: web hosting services.