Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux

July 9, 2013

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Categories: News and Announcements, Reports and Briefings, Research News

By Morgan Marquis-Boire, Collin Anderson, Jakub Dalek, Sarah McKune, and John Scott-Railton.

The Citizen Lab is pleased to announce the release of Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux. 

Read the Report [PDF]

Read the Arabic Version  / النسخة العربية 

Read The Washington Post article associated with this report.

Link to global map of Blue Coat devices on public networks.

Explore the data here.

In this report, our third on Blue Coat Systems, we use a combination of network measurement and scanning methods and tools to identify instances of Blue Coat ProxySG and PacketShaper devices. This kind of equipment can be used to secure and maintain networks, but it can also be used to implement politically-motivated restrictions on access to information, and monitor and record private communications.

We found Blue Coat devices on public networks of 83 countries (20 countries with both ProxySG and PacketShaper, 56 countries with PacketShaper only, and 7 countries with ProxySG only). Included in these countries are regimes with questionable human rights records, and three countries that are subject to US sanctions: Iran, Syria, and Sudan.

Our findings raise questions around the sale of “dual-use” communication technologies to national jurisdictions where the implementation of such technology has not been publicly debated or shaped by the rule of law. The issues raised by this report go beyond one company and its products and services, and underscore the imperatives of addressing the global public policy implications of internationally-marketed communications infrastructure and services.

Alongside the publication of our report, we have sent a letter to representatives of Blue Coat and its major investor, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), inquiring about their human rights due diligence processes, and commit to publishing in full their reply.

Media Coverage

In addition to The Washington Post piece, media coverage of the report includes SC Magazine, Help Net Security, Motherboard, The Independent and Human Rights First.

 

 

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