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27 Feb 2024

Sondos Shalaby, Middle East Eye

USA: Government places Sandvine on an export blacklist for allegedly enabling digital repression in Egypt

Glenn Carstens-Peters via Unsplash

"US blacklists computer networking company for censorship abroad", 29 February 2024

The Department of Commerce added computer networking company Sandvine to its blacklist earlier this week, alleging the company supplied equipment “to the Government of Egypt” and engaged in censorship.

The department announced... that it would ban the company from obtaining U.S. technology because of national security concerns.

The department said it was adding Sandvine to the list because it provided “deep packet inspection technology” to the Egyptian government. The government was accused of using “mass web-monitoring and censorship to block news as well as target political actors and human rights activists.”

Its products can be used to monitor large amounts of internet traffic between networks and can be used to target spam and viruses. The technology can also block websites and messaging apps, and it can carry out surveillance of internet activity, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news.

In an emailed statement, Sandvine said it is aware of the action announced by the Commerce Department.

“We are committed to working closely with government officials to understand, address and resolve their concerns,” the company said. “We will do everything we can to continue to support our customers.”