Bureau Recommends: European technology used to spy on Syrians

Image by Baddog / Flickr Creative Commons

Technologies created by Italian, French and German companies, as well as US companies, have been used by the Syrian government to spy on its citizen’s emails, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Last month the Bureau’s Pratap Chatterjee reported that web filtering technology created by US company Blue Coat had been found in Syria. Blue Coat has denied that it sold the technologies to the Syrians, but the State Department has launched an investigation.

Italian technicians employed by Area SpA have been sent to Damascus to install computer systems there, helping the government to monitor, scan and track almost every email sent in the country. As an uprising against the government escalated in Syria, intelligence agents ‘pushed the Italians to finish, saying they urgently need to track people’, according to the Bloomberg piece.

Further high-tech systems made by French company Qosmos, German company Utimaco, and California-based NetApp Inc, have also been installed in the country, according to the article. None of the companies sold their systems directly to Syria, Bloomberg says.

At least 3,000 people have died so far in the Syrian uprising.

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