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[liberationtech] Blue Coat and Syria

Aaron Huslage huslage at
Wed Oct 19 17:46:50 PDT 2011

Thanks Jake for the comment. This is informative :)

On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 10:43 PM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at>wrote:

> On 10/15/2011 05:47 PM, Aaron Huslage wrote:
> > 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.
> >
> The devices in question are not very old, I think they were probably
> brand new.
> > 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.
> >
> They phone home and Bluecoat knows the geoip location as part of their
> analytics service. Additionally the IP addresses of these servers are on
> known Syrian IP addresses.
> > It doesn't take much imagination to see that BlueCoat isn't selling
> anything
> > to Syria the least, plausible deniability is intact.
> >
> Your thoughts are speculation and while reasonable, I see no evidence to
> support it.
> The evidence shows that there are Bluecoat devices in Syria. These
> devices are running on Syrian IP addresses, phoning home to BlueCoat's
> services and servers from Syria in a very detectable manner. All the
> while Bluecoat denies it all and looks absolutely foolish.
> In addition, these devices have had upgrades in the last year. Bluecoat
> has a direct hand in these matters and those in Syria aren't even
> bothering to cover their tracks.
> All the best,
> Jake

Aaron Huslage
IM: AIM - ahuslage; GTalk - huslage at; Skype - huslage
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