Netsweeper

Posts tagged “Netsweeper”

Aiding repression, or just doing business?

The Guelph Mercury newspaper reports that a Guelph-based tech firm called Netsweeper, which is known for making tools to control information abroad, is tightening communications at home. After giving several media interviews during its rapid rise in the burgeoning internet security sector, Netsweeper now not only refuses to speak to reporters, but also recently rejected a meeting request by Guelph MP Frank Valeriote.

Canadian Software Used to Censor Web Abroad

In this article, CTV News reports on the role of Western companies in promoting censorship in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, it looks at Netsweeper Inc., a Canada-based developer of content filtering software, and its role in providing governments in Qatar, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates with tools to filter online content.

Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, told CTV News that the recent controversy surrounding the Canadian company demonstrates that the Canadian federal government needs to take a clear position on content filtering, and within this, develop a clear foreign policy for cyberspace. For example, Deibert suggests that the Canadian government introduce legislation which makes it “illegal for Canadian companies to filter content in countries that violate the freedoms outlined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.” In essence, “take a major international treaty of the 20th century, and apply it in a decidedly 21st century context.”

Deibert said that Canada should take on a leadership role on cyber policy “in international forums to spotlight and develop a kind of normative agreement that is consistent with the values we hold as a country.”

For the full article see here.

Canada lauds UAE ISP that pervasively censors political, religious, and gay and lesbian information, using Canadian software

In light of the controversy around the use of Canadian-made software being used in the Middle East and North Africa, it is remarkable that the Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Information Technology Association of Canada, and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs would choose to honour an Internet Service Provider that pervasively filters access to information using Canadian made software.

See the OpenNet Initiative post here

Guelph-based software censors the Internet in the Middle East

Web-filtering software developed in Canada is being used in the Middle East to censor the Internet, according to the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab.

Netsweeper Inc., a leading developer of content-filtering software based in Guelph, lists telecommunications companies in Yemen, Qatar and United Arab Emirates among its foreign clients.

According to the company’s promotional material, its software blocks websites using a “list of 90+ categories to meet government rules and regulations — based on social, religious or political ideals.”

“It’s no doubt a great market opportunity for them,” said Ronald Deibert, who heads the Citizen Lab, which examines human rights in the digital era, at the Munk School of Global Affairs.

For full original article, see here