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Blue Coat of Sunnyvale helps Syria Block Internet Access to Outside World

Updated on November 22, 2011

America does produce some of the best devices in the world. Sometimes, these devices end up in nefarious regimes and hands as did Blue Coat's Internet filtering hardware boxes. Because Syria is on the embargo list for trade sanctions, it was a shock for Blue Coat of Sunnyvale, CA., to find their products helping Assad and his regime block Internet access to the outside world. How this happened was simple and out of the company's hands. The shipment was sent o Dubai and from there was suppose to go to Iraq. Instead, if went to Syria. This discovery just shows how difficult it is to enforce sanctions or embargoes abroad-think Iran. It is nearly impossible to keep it from happening.

Bloat had shipped 14 units of its ProxySG 9000 internet filtering boxes from Rotterdam to Dubai, an order worth $700,000. The order originated in Dubai on behalf of the Iraqi Ministry of Communications. Syria has as many as 25 of the boxes from Blue Coat, many were ordered in 2005. Hackers have been able to see what Syrian officials do not want the public to access in websites, the main one is the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria website, a banned group from the 1980s and a free syria website with the latest news on the rebellion. Blue Coat devices can block about 6% of the 750 million requests in a month. They can also monitor attempts to log onto illegal websites such as: and It seems like Syria does like Blue Coat products, as they are also using another of theirs called PacketShaper, which helps keep computer networks running smoothly.


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