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[liberationtech] New Citizen Lab Report

Ronald Deibert r.deibert at
Tue Jul 9 04:52:23 PDT 2013

Dear LibTech

I am pleased to announce the latest Citizen Lab publication:

Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux
Morgan Marquis-Boire (project leader), Collin Anderson (lead technical research), Jakub Dalek (lead technical research), Sarah McKune (lead legal research), John Scott-Railton (lead legal research), Ron Deibert, Adam Senft, Matthew Carrieri, and Saad Khan.

In this report, our third on Blue Coat Systems, we use a combination of network measurement and scanning methods and tools to identify instances of Blue Coat ProxySG and PacketShaper devices. This kind of equipment can be used to secure and maintain networks, but it 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 (20 countries with both ProxySG and PacketShaper, 56 countries with PacketShaper only, and 7 countries with ProxySG only). Included in these countries are regimes with questionable human rights records, and three countries that are subject to US sanctions: Iran, Syria, and Sudan. 

Our findings raise questions around the sale of “dual-use” communication technologies to national jurisdictions where the implementation of such technology has not been publicly debated or shaped by the rule of law. The issues raised by this report go beyond one company and its products and services, and underscore the imperatives of addressing the global public policy implications of internationally-marketed communications infrastructure and services.

Alongside the publication of our report, we have sent a letter to representatives of Blue Coat and its major investor, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), inquiring about their human rights due diligence processes, and commit to publishing in full their reply.
Read the full report [PDF]:

View the map:

Explore the data:

Read the Washington Post article;

Email the Citizen Lab: info at

Ronald Deibert
Director, the Citizen Lab 
and the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
(416) 946-8916
r.deibert at

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