Thursday, February 03, 2011

Solidarity with Egypt demonstrators comes to Silicon Valley

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Raging Grannies and friends from the San Jose Peace and Justice Center showed up Wednesday outside the offices of a tech company that sold "real-time traffic intelligence" equipment to Telecom Egypt. That's Egypt's state-run internet provider. Internet service has been sporadically cut off and presumably spied on by the security authorities during the current popular uprising against the dictatorship.

These protesters think everyone should know that Narus, located in Sunnyvale, is making possible surveillance of the internet and cell phone communications.

Timothy Karr from FreePress explained:

Narus, now owned by Boeing, was founded in 1997 by Israeli security experts to create and sell mass surveillance systems for governments and large corporate clients.

The company is best known for creating NarusInsight, a supercomputer system which is allegedly used by the National Security Agency and other entities to perform mass surveillance and monitoring of public and corporate Internet communications in real time.

Narus provides Egypt Telecom with Deep Packet Inspection equipment (DPI), a content-filtering technology that allows network managers to inspect, track and target content from users of the Internet and mobile phones, as it passes through routers on the information superhighway. Other Narus global customers include the national telecommunications authorities in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia -- two countries that regularly register alongside Egypt near the bottom of Human Rights Watch's world report.

... When commercial network operators use DPI, the privacy of Internet users is compromised. But in government hands, the use of DPI can crush dissent and lead to human rights violations.


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