Alahednews
english.alahednews.com.lb
Ashoura 2017
EU Vows to Protect Iran Deal as Agreement is in Limbo Philippine President May Put Police Back In Charge Of Drug War Iran: Failure of Nuclear Deal Will End Hopes for Non-Proliferation Syrian Army Command: ‘Israel’ Attacks Military Position in Quneitra, ‘Israel’ Confesses «Israeli» Official Confirms Saudi’s MbS Visited Tel Aviv Rights Groups Slam WHO for Appointing Zimbabwe’s Mugabe a Goodwill Ambassador ’Israeli’ Occupation Forces Shoot, Injure Palestinian Teen Sailing off Gaza Coast Spain Expected To Impose Direct Rule on Catalonia Germany Signs Off on Deal to Send «Israel» Three Advanced Subs Iraqi Forces Restore Entire Kirkuk Province #Syrian Army Command: Terrorists Launched Mortar Shells upon ‘#Israeli' Instructions #Syrian Army Command: ‘#Israel' Attacks Military Position in #Quneitra Countryside #Yemen's Health Ministry: 55% of #Hospitals are out of Service due to Direct #Aggression #Yemen's Health Ministry: #Health System Losses since Beginning of #Saudi Aggression Hit 8 Billion Rials #Yemen's Health Ministry: More than 95,000 Patients Need to Be Treated Abroad #Munich Knife Attack: Several Injured, Suspect on the Run Three Dead, Search on for Others after Landslide at #Malaysia Construction Site #Iraq Army Takes last #Kurd-Held Area of #Kirkuk Province #IRGC: US President #DonaldTrump's Stances are Evidence on the Defeat of #WhiteHouse Chiefs' Policies #Catalan Leader Writes to Spanish PM to Confirm Declaration of Independence Still Suspended
Guestbook mailinglist.php arabic site french site spanish site facebook twitter rss page
News Categories » NEWS » Americas » Canada

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size  Print Page
Canadian Firm Helping Bahrain Censor the Web
Local Editor

Researchers have identified a Canadian company at the center of a small Arab nation's online censorship system - a finding that sits awkwardly with Ottawa officials' public support for digital freedoms.


Green Keyboard

Specialists from internet watchdog Citizen Lab said in a report published Wednesday that web filtering firm Netsweeper Inc. is helping block news and opposition websites in Bahrain, a Gulf Arab monarchy which has been wracked by unrest since pro-democracy protests were stifled there in 2011.

Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert said the discovery undermines Canadian leaders' forceful condemnations of online censorship.

"Canadian policymakers have been quite vocal about saying that this is wrong," Deibert said in a phone call ahead of the report's release. "Yet here we have a Canadian company that's doing precisely that."

In 2011, a company spokesman was quoted as saying there was "no good conversation for us to have" about allegations of censorship.

Citizen Lab said the banned Bahraini sites include ones run by opposition and human rights groups as well as sites critical of Islam. Gambling and pornography sites also were blocked.

Netsweeper's suspected role as Bahrain's censorship provider first came to light after the firm appeared to win a contract for a "national website filtering solution" earlier this year. Researchers at Citizen Lab said they confirmed the company's role there by scouring Bahrain's internet space for Netsweeper installations and trying to access blocked sites from a server in the country.

The researchers drew on clues such as lines including the words "Netsweeper" or "netsw" returned during internet scans and a tell-tale line of code in the web addresses thrown up by blocked sites.

Based at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, Citizen Lab has made a specialty of exposing the companies behind surveillance and censorship in the Middle East and beyond. Last month, its discovery of "Israeli"-made spy software targeting an Arab dissident's iPhone prompted Apple to issue a worldwide security update. Citizen Lab has been tracking Netsweeper's work for years.

Bahrain's Information Ministry did not reply to emails seeking comment. Canadian officials - who are promoting an upcoming Dubai trade show which Netsweeper is supposed to attend - said in a statement that while they could not comment on specific companies, "we expect Canadian businesses to operate lawfully and according to Canadian values."

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

22-09-2016 | 11:44


Name
E-Mail
Comment Title
Comment
Human Verification


News Coverage

Related News

Search
To Top