Blue Coat technology allegedly being used for censorship efforts in Syria, Iran

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Company response
11 June 2013

Blue Coat statement re allegations of involvement of its products in internet censorship in Syria and Iran

Author: Blue Coat

We take reports about the presence of Blue Coat technology in embargoed countries very seriously. We have been aware of the presence of our appliances in Syria and have been actively cooperating with the U.S. government since 2011 as part of its investigation into the illegal transfer of our products to Syria by third parties...We are conducting an internal review of the information published last month to determine whether it provides new information about the presence of our products in embargoed countries. In the meantime, we want to clarify that Blue Coat has never permitted the sale of our products to countries embargoed by the US...

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29 May 2013

U.S. Company Allegedly Aids Syria and Iran Censorship Efforts

Author: The Daily Dot (USA)

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Blue Coat to respond. Blue Coat's response available below] The French investigative publication Reflets discovered that American company Blue Coat is currently providing the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and that of the Islamic Republic of Iran with software to filter and spy on their countries’ Internet activities in contravention of U.S. law...Reflets found 171 Blue Coat servers in Iran, a country off-limits to U.S. software exports...Iran consistently ranks among the worst abusers of human rights among nongovernmental organizations, such as Freedom House and Human Rights Watch. Corruption is rife, fair trials are rare, and criminal imprisonment is often used as a tool to stifle speech.

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25 April 2013

Bureau of Industry and Security Announces $2.8 Million Civil Settlement with Computerlinks FZCO for Charges Related to Unlawful Exporting of Technology to Syria

Author: Bureau of Industry and Security, US Department of Commerce

[Blue Coat also referred to this item as part of its response]. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) today announced that Computerlinks FZCO, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has agreed to pay a $2.8 million civil penalty following allegations that it committed three violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) related to the transfer to Syria of devices designed to monitor and control Internet traffic...Computerlinks FZCO provided Blue Coat, the U.S. manufacturer and exporter, with false information concerning the end user and ultimate destination of the items in connection with these transactions...

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25 April 2013

Dubai firm fined $2.8 million for shipping Blue Coat monitoring gear to Syria

Author: Steve Stecklow, Reuters

[Blue Coat also referred to this item as part of its response]. A Dubai distribution company has agreed to pay a $2.8 million civil penalty for shipping embargoed U.S. devices to the Syrian government to monitor and control internet traffic...Computerlinks FZCO sold $1.4 million worth of devices made by Blue Coat Systems Inc, of Sunnyvale, California, to the Syrian government in three separate transactions between about October 2010 and May 2011...The agreement said that the distributor falsely claimed to Blue Coat that the products were being shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan.

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