Thursday, October 11, 2007

When US-made 'censorware' ends up in iron fists

by Ben Arnoldy from The Christian Science Monitor

Absence of federal regulation has allowed so-called censorware of at least four California companies to end up in the hands of foreign governments shown to block citizens' access to political, religious, and other websites. The software companies involved sell this technology primarily to private companies in the US and abroad that use these tools to keep employees from accessing pornography sites and websites infected with viruses ... In 2005 The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) found that Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates use SmartFilter. The company wouldn't confirm or deny. "We are a US organization that adheres to US rules. We only do business with organizations and countries we are approved to do business with," says Mr. Chatterjee. That position is echoed by Blue Coat Systems Inc., whose sales materials have boasted that Internet access across Saudi Arabia is "monitored and controlled" by its technology.

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