As a follow-up to our post about the number of sites miscategorized by SmartFilter, our tests with Blue Coat show that miscategorization is not a problem limited to a single product. We should be skeptical of any company’s claims that they are able to categorize much of the web accurately, or that their rate of “collateral damage” is very low.
Tag Archives: Fingerprinting Information Controls
A new Citizen Lab report has found that Canada-based Netsweeper filtering products have been identified on three ISPs in Somalia.
What do the Trinity Davison Lutheran Church, the Filipino American Women’s Network, the Tucson Jazz Institute, the Sacramento Police Activities League, the Pan Iranist Party of Iran, and the Salvation Army of Houston, Texas have in common?
Their websites are all blocked for Internet users in Saudi Arabia, and for most Internet users in the United Arab Emirates
The paper presents an initial methodology for identifying and conﬁrming the use of URL ﬁltering products around the world.
The Citizen Lab is pleased to announce the release of Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux. In this report, we use a combination of network measurement and scanning methods and tools to identify instances of Blue Coat ProxySG and PacketShaper devices. This equipment can be used to secure and maintain networks, but 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. Included in these countries are regimes with questionable human rights records, and three countries that are subject to US sanctions: Iran, Syria, and Sudan.
O Pakistan, We Stand on Guard for Thee: An Analysis of Canada-based Netsweeper’s Role in Pakistan’s Censorship Regime
A new Citizen Lab report, entitled O Pakistan, We Stand on Guard for Thee: An Analysis of Canada-based Netsweeper’s Role in Pakistan’s Censorship Regime, has found that Canada-based Netsweeper filtering products have been installed in Pakistan, and are being used for filtering political and social web content.
Titled “Teachers’ pension plan invests in Internet surveillance firm,” the Toronto Star editorial connects the investment group that manages the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) with Blue Coat Systems.
Blue Coat Devices capable of filtering, censorship, and surveillance are being used around the world. 61 of these Blue Coat appliances are on public or government networks in countries with a history of concerns over human rights, surveillance, and censorship. Our findings support the need for national and international scrutiny of Blue Coat implementations in the countries we have identified, and a closer look at the global proliferation of “dual-use” information and communication technologies.
Additional evidence gathered by the Citizen Lab from Burma since the publication of Behind Blue Coat has provided further confirmation that Blue Coat’s devices are presently in use in the country.
Following the release of Citizen Lab’s brief, Behind Blue Coat: Investigations of commercial filtering in Syria and Burma, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert spoke to Marco Werman about the research findings on BBC’s The World.