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[liberationtech] Blue Coat and Syria

Aaron Huslage huslage at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 17:47:47 PDT 2011


Has anyone considered the possibility that these boxes were procured on the
(rather substantial) grey market that exists for network hardware? It also
seems to me that it would be trivially easy for any entity to buy a bunch of
network gear and have it shipped to a non-embargoed country where it is then
taken legally into Syria.

You could even have service contracts on the stuff. No one would be the
wiser. It's not like companies check up on the location of every box they
sell.

It doesn't take much imagination to see that BlueCoat isn't selling anything
to Syria directly...in the least, plausible deniability is intact.


On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 2:37 PM, Jillian York
<jyork at cyber.law.harvard.edu>wrote:

> Yes and no.
>
> Yes that companies are overzealous, mainly because they face large fines
> and the rules aren't clear. OFAC issued a general license last year re:
> Iran, Cuba, and Sudan (NOT Syria) and a general license more recently in
> light of the Obama Administration's Executive Order on Syria (see post
> below, contains links/details) to allow the export of communications tools
> and hosting for personal use by Syrians.
>
> However, Syria's a separate case.   Besides OFAC, Syria is also affected by
> a 2004 Commerce Dept. regulation on Lebanese Sovereignty.  EFF has done
> extensive research on this and are currently offering to help any company
> (or tool-producing NGO) that wants to get a license from Commerce to export
> to Syria:
> https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/09/stop-the-piecemeal-export-approach
>
> Call 10 hosting companies in the US and pretend to be Syrian: a highly
> recommended exercise in absurdity.
>
> Collin, would be happy to talk off-list about documenting misapplications,
> something I've been doing now for more than three years.
>
> -Jillian
>
>
>
>
> On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 8:32 PM, Collin Anderson <
> collin at averysmallbird.com> wrote:
>
>> I would note that many of Treasury's sanctions are overzealously
>> interpreted by American companies to include things that they specifically
>> do not. OFAC Regulations were revised last year (regarding Iran: §560.540;
>> Cuba and Sudan in name elsewhere; presumable Syria too) to permit the export
>> of information services and software to embargoed countries provided it is
>> done so 1.) at no cost to the user 2.) without direct or indirect knowledge
>> of government use.
>>
>> Documenting misapplications of the law is a campaign in its nascent
>> stages, which I should reach out to the mail list about in another thread.
>>
>> GSoC, I assume, is other matter originating in the stipend.
>>
>> Cordially,
>> Collin
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 2:16 PM, Jillian York <
>> jyork at cyber.law.harvard.edu> wrote:
>>
>>> Regulation that forces transparency (e.g., a licensing scheme) seems to
>>> be a popular theme these days and frankly, I'm personally behind the idea.
>>> When we have export regulations preventing Syrians from getting access to
>>> basic tools like Google Chrome and Java and unable to participate in Google
>>> Summer of Code because "oops, someone might accidentally give them a
>>> t-shirt", but those same Syrians are being hampered by American tools from
>>> Bluecoat, something is terribly wrong.
>>>
>>> -JCY
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 3:11 PM, <liberationtech at lewman.us> wrote:
>>>
>>>> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 12:19:36AM -0400, jacob at appelbaum.net wrote
>>>> 2.1K bytes in 61 lines about:
>>>> : The sale and support of surveillance equipment should be regulated
>>>> like
>>>> : firearms.
>>>>
>>>> Careful here. More bureaucracy is rarely the answer to a problem. More
>>>> transparency is a fine first step. Who sold what to whom would be good
>>>> to know now. Who supports whom would be good to know as well.
>>>>
>>>> Regulating firearms has done little to stop the global weapons trade, in
>>>> fact it's just created a huge underground market that lacks
>>>> transparency. At least this is what those who monitor this sort of thing
>>>> tell me.
>>>>
>>>> This appears to be the same problem we have now with network
>>>> surveillance and control equipment.
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Andrew
>>>> pgp key: 0x74ED336B
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> jilliancyork.com | @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> *Collin David Anderson*
>> averysmallbird.com | @cda | Washington, D.C.
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> jilliancyork.com | @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
>
>
>
>
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-- 
Aaron Huslage
http://blog.hact.net
IM: AIM - ahuslage; GTalk - huslage at gmail.com; Skype - huslage
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