GovLab Editorial Meeting Links, 7/12/13 — The Syria Conflict

  1. Report: Web-monitoring devices made by US firm Blue Coat detected in Iran, Sudan – Washington Post: Blue Coat Systems produces network security equipment which shields against unwanted elements such as computer viruses. The equipment can also be used to limit communications, so it’s tagged as “dual use.” In Syria, for example, Blue Coat devices have been used to restrict access to information and monitor communications. CitizenLab has been following the issue and has been raising the alarm about the human rights implications of surveillance technologies. Because Blue Coat devices have various uses, they are not subject to the export restrictions to US has imposed with regard to countries like Syria and Iran. You can read their full report here.
  2. Meet the Hacktivist Who Wants to Warn Syrians About Incoming Missiles – The Atlantic: The military team at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy built a Syrian Missile Launch Database where they tracked and analyzed missile launches. This database focused on after-the-fact information. Now, just two weeks ago, Dlshad Othman launched a website to track missile launches in Syria, ideally before they happen: the website is called Aymta (means “when” in Arabic)
  3. Syria Deeply: Even before the Syria conflict broke out, one of the big issues about Syria was the lack of diverse media voices. The Syrian news agency (SANA) controls information circulation, so when the conflict started two years ago, the international community was hit hard by the lack of information from within the country. What Syria Deeply does is try to bridge that gap: they combine and present multiple sources of information, from citizen journalists (a lot of tweeters) to professional journalists from the big news agencies.

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