Blue Coat, a U.S. tech firm, admits Syria used its products to censor the web during "Arab Spring"

A U.S. company that makes Internet "filtering" systems admits that Syria has been using at least 13 of its devices to censor Web activity there. This news comes as the Syrian government cracks down on its citizens and silences their online activities.

Blue Coat Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., says it shipped the Internet "filtering" devices to Dubai late last year, believing they were destined for a department of the Iraqi government. However, the devices—which can block websites or record when people visit them—made their way to Syria, a country subject to strict U.S. trade embargoes. (via @csoghoian).


  1. & a double whammy, since the Arab Spring happened regardless– “Blue Coat!  We hate free speech, & we’re bad at preventing it!”  TM.

      1. As someone who works in a BlueCoat-protected environment, there’s Always someone who’s going to find a way.

  2. So, we can expect an investigation into the apparent violation of embargos to save face, and the public will be starved of information on what happens until they forget about it, and then the investigation will quietly subside.

    Call me a cynic, but that’s what I’m expecting.

  3. The world needs an Internet that cannot be touched by any nation.  We need radio and light-based encrypted communications in international waters and near earth orbit.

  4. Oppressive governments.  Or as international corporations like to refer to them – niche markets.

  5. It’s worth noting that Syria isn’t the only oppressive government customer of Blue Coat…

    The US DoD uses Blue Coat devices extensively throughout CONUS and OCONUS military installations.

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