In response to the call for submissions of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression regarding the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communications, the Citizen Lab and independent researcher Collin Anderson have submitted a joint analysis, entitled “The need for democratization of digital security solutions to ensure the right to freedom of expression.”
A new report, entitled “Communities @ Risk: Targeted Digital Threats Against Civil Society,” involved 10 civil society groups that enrolled as study subjects over a period of four years. The study sought to obtain greater visibility into an often overlooked digital risk environment affecting–whether they know it or not–many of society’s most essential institutions.
This report outlines an extensive US nexus for a network of servers forming part of the collection infrastructure of Hacking Team’s Remote Control System. The network, which includes data centers across the US, is used to obscure government clients of Hacking Team. It is used by at least 10 countries ranging from Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan to Korea, Poland and Ethiopia. In addition we highlight an intriguing US-only Hacking Team circuit.
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.
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.
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.