Blue Coat "deep packet inspection" tools used by Syrian secret police and other repressive regimes


11 Responses to “Blue Coat "deep packet inspection" tools used by Syrian secret police and other repressive regimes”

  1. RichardL says:

    I am not computer savy but how can we get the google search to this article on top of the one for Blue coat investor info. How do we make this Info number the  1 Google search result?

  2. Guest says:

    Oh, FFS, Cory…

    Blue Coat denied having products in Syria because, well, they didn’t know they were in Syria. They didn’t sell them to Syria. There is a sizable gray market in export-restricted technologies, and one of their resellers is being shady.

    This is like saying knife manufacturers should be held accountable for stabbings, or even that firearms companies are somehow responsible when someone sells a second-hand gun to a criminal.

    If Blue Coat somehow prevented oppressive regimes from using their product (and who judges what is an oppressive regime?) said regimes would just go to a competitor, or develop their own solution, probably based on open-source tools. In fact, I’m fairly sure Blue Coat is FreeBSD based, lets see the EFF go after FreeBSD for helping Syria too.

    Really, all Blue Coat should be concerned about is the law. They don’t know for sure if the appliances are being used for “evil”. The ONLY thing they can know for sure is that their appliances are being used in Syria, and that’s illegal.

    UPDATE: I RTFA and Blue Coat stuff DOES phone home for licensing and updates. That doesn’t mean the products weren’t registered under phony info or appeared to come from a non-Syrian IP, because the people who illegally use export-controlled gear know these things.. It is very possible Blue Coat had to do some investigation to determine where the Dubai units were really located. And now that they know, if they want to disable them, they can and probably will.

    • hassenpfeffer says:

      So the “free market” is justification for actively promoting your product as a tool of oppression? And how do you know that BlueCoat didn’t know its products were in Syria? Most technology products have a feature called “autosupport” that contacts the manufacturer when a technical issue occurs–in other words, they do indeed phone home. No one at the company noticed core files being uploaded from .sy domains?

      Also, the thought of bass-ackward autocractic regimes gathering a happy team of open-source devotees to put together homegrown “security” tools is ludicrous if you know anything about open source.

    • The Doctor says:

      The IP addresses of the Bluecoats are, in fact, coming from netblocks within .sy netspace.  Here is the evidence:

      As for whether or not those units can be remotely disabled, nobody’s sure yet.  Not many are betting on it.

  3. hassenpfeffer says:

    I need to do some more zooming in, but the overwhelming majority of faces in the lineup of “us” seem to be those of white European descendants.

  4. Gene says:

    I’d think that if they had concern for human rights, they would be in a different line of business altogether.

  5. Chris Lamke says:

    @CoyoteDen:disqus , the focus of this article isn’t just that Blue Coat tech is being used to kill and imprison people in Syria and other oppressive nations. It’s that Blue Coat seems unconcerned with whether their technology is used for good or evil, unconcerned that people are being tortured or killed based on the use of their technology. How difficult is it to issue a statement saying that you are appalled that your tech is being used for evil and that you will do everything possible to stop this use now and prevent it in the future?  The company’s apparent placing of profit over human welfare is appalling. They’re not the only US company that does this, but that doesn’t decrease their responsibility for this.

  6. shanebest says:

    It’s all good and well for Blue Coat  to spy on Americans but not Syrians?

  7. Genre Slur says:

    bwahahahahaha! The situation is Gibsonesque. The second comment doubly so.

  8. hostile_17 says:

    So will we get brand names of every device used by any ‘bad Syrian’ in every way? The car the got them to work? The computer they used when they got there? The country that provided trees for the paper that they wrote nasty things on?

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