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[liberationtech] Network surveillance

Andrew Lewis me at
Wed Jun 5 15:54:26 PDT 2013

Syria uses homegrown forks of squid, bluecoat, brocade, and has at
least solicited for Hauwei solutions, all at the carrier level, based
on directives passed down from the telecoms/security ministries. I
know that the big ISPs have explicit back doors in their firewalls
installed so that the monitoring center has access. They also seem to
have military security folks that are assigned ISP provided equipment
and access at undisclosed locations.

As for the monitoring center, no one has any insight except for the
Area SpA stuff awhile back. It seems to be mostly a manual affair in
the early part of the uprising, but do know that subscriber billing
records and IP assignments are copied up to then from at least one
ISP. Another ISP logs all email, but didn't seem to do much with it,
except maybe spy on its rivals.(As an aside if your doing business in
Syria, don't send confidential info through any in country email
servers, the upstream providers seem to monitor it)

Other then that most efforts seem to use the SEA with targeted
viruses, and then the use of secret police to coerce more info through
the application of more traditional efforts.

That's Syria in a nutshell.

As for other countries, I believe that some in this list has
elaborated before that many ex Soviet States and Regions use Russian
equipment, and that should be in the archives.


On Jun 6, 2013, at 10:38 AM, Eric S Johnson <crates at> wrote:

> I've heard that a lot (especially "it's the Chinese") but found very little
> evidence to support such allegations.
> In Addis last fall, was told by a source with some inside information that
> the Ethiopian state's cybersurveillance software came from Israel.
> The pictures which rebels shot of the Libyan cybersurveillance center's
> equipment (after the Gaddafi government fell) identified it as having been
> delivered as part of a (Chinese) ZTE contract.
> It does seem reasonable to suppose almost any cybersurveillance system is
> based on high-speed routers, which almost by definition came from one of a
> very small number of suppliers (Cisco, ZTE, Huawei?).
> It would be a super-good thing to gather evidence about such allegations--if
> you can ask people who say "it's the Chinese" what data they have ...
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: liberationtech-bounces at [mailto:liberationtech-
>> bounces at] On Behalf Of Richard Brooks
>> Sent: 06 June 2013 5.07
>> To: liberationtech at
>> Subject: [liberationtech] Network surveillance
>> Just talked with a lot of people who think network surveillance
>> equipment in their countries are being bought from either
>> Israelis or Chinese. It seems that they are competing for
>> market share. Was not aware of Israeli companies working in this
>> space.
> --
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