The world according to ‘Blue Coat’ — mapping global censorship and surveillance

Canada’s Citizen Lab  once again leads the way in pinpointing more than 60 countries it  says are capable of filtering, censorship, and surveillance, thanks to made-in-America technologies.

They all use  systems from Blue Coat, a US provider of network security and optimization products, says the report.

Now Citizen Lab is calling 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. Internet service providers responsible for these deployments should consider publicly clarifying their function,

And it invites Blue Coat  to take the report as an,  “opportunity to explain their due diligence process to ensure that their devices are not used in ways that violate human rights.”

Credited for producing the report are >>>

Morgan Marquis-Boire (lead technical research) and Jakub Dalek (lead technical research), Sarah McKune (lead legal research), Matthew Carrieri, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Ron Deibert, Saad Omar Khan, Helmi Noman, John Scott-Railton, and Greg Wiseman.

Their report states:

“These products include: ProxySG devices that work with WebFilter, which categorizes web pages to permit filtering of unwanted content; and PacketShaper, a cloud-based network management device that can establish visibility of more than 600 web applications and control undesirable traffic.

“ProxySG provides ‘SSL Inspection’ services to solve “…issues with intercepting SSL for your end-users.”

PacketShaper is integrated with WebPulse, Blue Coat Systems’ real-time network intelligence service that can filter application traffic by content category.

“Now with more control  over  web applications and user behavior,”  the company, based in California, boasts.  (My emphasis)

Founded in 1996, Blue Coat  says it provides products to more than 15,000 customers worldwide, including 88% of the Fortune Global 500.

It  says it,“provides products to more than 15,000 customers worldwide,” and maintains offices in Sunnyvale, London, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Waterloo and Dubai.

bluecoat_mapThe  Citizen Lab report  includes a map  identifying 61 ‘Blue Coat’ appliances on public or government networks in countries with a history of concerns over human rights, surveillance, and censorship.

 Click here to see the full map.

Among Blue Coat’s customers are:

The University of California, Irvine.

Summary of Key Findings

  • Blue Coat Devices capable of filtering, censorship, and surveillance are being used around the world. During several weeks of scanning and validation that ended in January 2013, we uncovered 61 Blue Coat ProxySG devices and 316 Blue Coat PacketShaper appliances, devices with specific functionality permitting filtering, censorship, and surveillance.
  • 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 (11 ProxySG and 50 PacketShaper appliances). We found these appliances in the following locations:
    • Blue Coat ProxySG: Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE.
    • PacketShaper: Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.
    • Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, at the University of Toronto, Canada focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of digital media, global security, and human rights.

    Definitely stay tuned.

    Jon Newton — myblogdammit

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