Saturday, February 5, 2011

Your Friendly CIA Helps Shut Down Egypt's Internet

Here's an interesting report from Al Jazeera:

If you do a search on "narus" and "cia" you will get some hits. Since Narus is owned by Boeing, it is deeply in bed with the US military and therefore the dirty world of spies and spying. Here's an article by Timothy Karr in Huffington Post:
One U.S. Corporation's Role in Egypt's Brutal Crackdown

The open Internet's role in popular uprising is now undisputed. Look no further than Egypt, where the Mubarak regime today reportedly shut down Internet and cell phone communications -- a troubling predictor of the fierce crackdown that has followed.

What's even more troubling is news that one American company is aiding Egypt's harsh response through sales of technology that makes this repression possible.

The Internet's favorite offspring -- Twitter, Facebook and YouTube -- are now heralded on CNN, BBC and Fox News as flag-bearers for a new era of citizen journalism and activism. (More and more these same news organizations have abandoned their own, more traditional means of newsgathering to troll social media for breaking information.)

But the open Internet's power cuts both ways: The tools that connect, organize and empower protesters can also be used to hunt them down.

Telecom Egypt, the nation's dominant phone and Internet service provider, is a state-run enterprise, which made it easy on Friday morning for authorities to pull the plug and plunge much of the nation into digital darkness.

Moreover, Egypt also has the ability to spy on Internet and cell phone users, by opening their communication packets and reading their contents. Iran used similar methods during the 2009 unrest to track, imprison and in some cases, "disappear" truckloads of cyber-dissidents.

The companies that profit from sales of this technology need to be held to a higher standard. One in particular is an American firm, Narus of Sunnyvale, Calif., which has sold Telecom Egypt "real-time traffic intelligence" equipment.

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.
It is just what you would expect from a corrupt US administration. They publicly tell their people that they are "deeply upset" about Egypt shutting down the Internet to stop the revolution. But privately this administration and/or the previous one allowed Egypt to obtain this technology. And the Obama administration has to be aware through its friendly spy network with Egypt (and top spy Omar Suleiman who "surprise! surprise!" is the VP to which Mubarak has handed control of the country) that Egypt is using this tool to suppress its citizen!

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