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[liberationtech] Behind Blue Coat: An Update From Burma

Ron Deibert r.deibert at
Tue Nov 29 15:41:08 PST 2011

Behind Blue Coat: An update from Burma


Citizen Lab research into the use of commercial filtering products in countries under the rule of authoritarian regimes has previously documented the use of devices manufactured by U.S.-based Blue Coat Systems in Syria and Burma. In Behind Blue Coat: Investigations of commercial filtering in Syria and Burma, we identified Blue Coat devices in Burma through the error messages, hostnames and filtering behaviour on Burmese Internet service provider (ISP) Yatanarpon Teleport.

Since the publication of Behind Blue Coat, it has been reported that the U.S. Commerce Department has launched an investigation to determine if the company had prior knowledge that its equipment was being used by the Syrian government.1 This action was launched following a call from three U.S. Senators for an investigation into Blue Coat and NetApp, another U.S. company whose equipment has been implicated in surveillance activities by the Syrian government.2

Additional evidence gathered by the Citizen Lab from Burma since the publication of that report has provided further confirmation that Blue Coat’s devices are presently in use in the country. A message displayed to users by Yatanarpon Teleport references Blue Coat in the URL and is consistent with how Blue Coat devices display notification messages to users. Combined with the evidence presented in Behind Blue Coat, these new findings present a strong case that Blue Coat’s devices are actively in use in Burma.

More here:

Ronald J. Deibert
Director, The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and
The Citizen Lab
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
r.deibert at

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