Report finds growing use of US surveillance gear by repressive nations

Human rights monitors have documented the use of US-manufactured Internet surveillance and censorship gear in 21 countries, some with checkered human rights policies such as Syria, China, and Saudi Arabia.

The report, titled Planet Blue Coat: Mapping Global Censorship and Surveillance Tools, scanned the Internet for unique digital signatures transmitted by equipment made by Blue Coat Systems. The analysis determined that PacketShaper, a Blue Coat device that detects more than 600 Web applications and controls undesirable traffic, was being used by a slew of countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela. Researchers also found a second Web filtering program called ProxySG was being used by Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The New York Times has a detailed report on the findings here.

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