Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Some of the world’s most repressive regimes employ U.S.-made surveillance and censorship technology. Citizen Lab Internet research group, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, discovered that that governments around the world use systems from made by Blue Coat Systems of Sunnyvale, California.
As the New York Times reported, Citizen Lab “determined that Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic employed a Blue Coat system that could be used for digital censorship. The group also determined that Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela used equipment that could be used for surveillance and tracking.”
“We hope Blue Coat will take this as an opportunity to explain their due diligence process to ensure that their devices are not used in ways that violate human rights,” a statement from Citizen Lab noted. The Canadian human rights group used computer servers to scan for the distinctive signature of Blue Coat systems in global networks.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce investigated Blue Coat when it was found that Syria’s Assad regime was using the California company’s technologies to monitor dissidents. Since Syria is on the U.S. embargo list, technology is restricted from export. Blue Coat acknowledged that Syrian authorities were in possession of their surveillance devices, but claimed that they were sent without the company’s knowledge via a distributor in Dubai.
While the U.S. cannot block exports to countries outside the sanction lists, Citizen Lab hopes their findings will prompt a closer look at the proliferation of surveillance and censorship technologies.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com.More Natasha Lennard.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.