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[liberationtech] Technical specifications for the Internet Backbone in Syria

ilf ilf at
Fri Apr 13 13:50:54 PDT 2012

On 04-13 16:28, Collin Anderson wrote:
> Just for clarification, this appears to be the RFA, Siemens' winning bid 
> and the actual contract for STE infrastructure work.
> My understanding is that STE is probably about two generations ahead of 
> this document, and now much of the telecommunications equipment are Huawei 
> or later-model Cisco devices.

Just this week, German news reported that Siemens has delivered a 
"Monitoring Center" to the mobile carrier Syriatel in 2000. In 2005, 
Utimaco delivered another "Monitoring Center" to Siemens with the goal 
Syria and Syriatel. Nokia Siemens Networks got yet another contract with 
telephone provider STE in 2008, also including a "Monitoring Center". 
All of the Siemens Monitoring Center contracts were transferred to 
Trovicor in March 2009. This technology is still in use in Syria today.

Trovicor declined to comment on customers, adding only that contracts 
with Syria stopped with the EU santcions in January 2012:

More on that in German:

Trovicors description of its Monitoring Center:

> The lawful intercept clauses seem to be standard fair, and we are now 
> aware that the one-month window has expanded significantly longer.

"Standard" and "fair"? Page 20:

> Monitoring system should provide the means to have a duplicated copy 
> of all email exchanged over the network. That includes email exchanged 
> between two local servers, between two users of the same server, and 
> international mail in both directions.
> The monitoring system must provide database capatity to store and 
> search email messages accumilated over a period of one month at least. 
> Estimated initial capacity is not less than 15.000 messages per day 
> with 10k bytes each. The system must be scalable up to 400.000 
> messages at least in two years.
> The system must be able to meet traffic requirements of expected user 
> popularion, estimated at 200.000 users.

> In addition to full loggin of accessed URLs, the system must provide 
> the possibility to monitor a random sample of the contents of accessed 
> pages. The requirement sample size is at least 5% of accessed web 
> pages.
> Sampled data must display the contents of the accessed page and the 
> name of the user who asked for it.

Keep in mind this is 1999, a time where internet in Syria didn't really 
exist yet:

Of course it was most likely massively ramped up since. But this proved 
a scary piece of insight into what they wanted (and got) right from the 


Über 80 Millionen Deutsche benutzen keine Konsole. Klick dich nicht weg!
		-- Eine Initiative des Bundesamtes für Tastaturbenutzung
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