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15 Sep 2020

Ryan Gallager, Bloomberg

Sandvine cancels Belarus deal in wake of Internet shutdowns but technology remains usable in the short-term

"Francisco-Backed Sandvine Nixes Belarus Deal, Citing Abuses", 15 September 2020

Sandvine Inc., the technology company backed by private equity firm Francisco Partners, canceled a deal with Belarus, saying the government used its products to violate human rights... Sandvine said in a statement on Tuesday that a preliminary investigation determined that “custom code” was inserted into its products “to thwart the free flow of information during the Belarus election.”

“This is a human rights violation and it has triggered the automatic termination of our end user license agreement,” according to the statement. “Sandvine takes human rights abuses very seriously. We also abhor the use of technology to suppress the free flow of information resulting in human rights violations.”

By ending the agreement, Sandvine said it would stop providing software updates and technical assistance for its equipment being used by the state-controlled National Traffic Exchange Center, which manages all internet data flowing in and out of the country. But that doesn’t mean the equipment will cease to function, and it will still be usable in the short term, a spokesman said.