THEORY: Italian surveillance company supporting crackdown on Syrian protesters

by Lindsey

An Italian surveillance company, Area SpA, is developing a surveillance system for the government of Syria—a government responsible for over 3,000 deaths since protests began in March. Bloomberg reports that Area are providing the Syrian government with hardware and software to record all Internet traffic, e-mails and telecommunications; to monitor communications in close to real-time; and to analyze networks of electronic contacts.

Because of sanctions on exports to Syria, the United States government may need to take a closer look at the companies that originally produced the items included in Area’s surveillance package. According to US-based NetApp, the company was not aware of their products having been included, as “NetApp’s Italian subsidiary sold the equipment through an authorized vendor in Italy which then re-sold it to Area.”

via Blake Hounshell