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SENATOR RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL): Software produced by American companies such as FortNet and Secure Computing has repeatedly been used to censor the Internet in Burma and Iran respectively.
Secure Computing refused to provide me with a list of the governments that use its filters. However, the OpenNet Initiative, a partnership between the University of Toronto, Cambridge University and Harvard Law School, has compiled data on how such products are used in foreign nations where censorship is easy because the governments control all Internet service providers.
The initiative found that SmartFilter has been used by government-controlled monopoly providers in Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. It has also been used by state-controlled providers in Iran, even though American companies are banned from selling technology products there. (Secure Computing denies selling products or updates to Iran, which is probably using pirated versions.) According to OpenNet, filtering products from another American company, Websense, have also been used by a state-controlled service provider in Iran.
(Federal News Service, HEARING OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LAW OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, May 20, 2008)
No response at this time.