There’s been some news about WikiLeaks and the companies on the list who allow their products to be sold to countries that are known dictatorships. Whether these are explicitly leaks or not is another story, but what should be interesting is the fact that these countries may not even know how their technology is used, or even care who they are selling it to.
Recently, Sandvine, a Canadian company that found itself on the list and on their blog they talked about how what it does is all out on the Internet to see</a>. That’s very true, so I went to the Sandvine website, and I looked at their customer map</a>. Now, look at Africa, and notice that there are two countries that recently had revolutions in here. Now, given that they recently had revolutions, and given that people are investigating what happened there, I would definitely speculate that while Sandvine may be sticking to the purely technical “We make broadband better” spiel, it’s unsure who they make broadband better for, but one thing is clear, it’s not for the user.
The thing with Sandvine is that in the grand scheme of things, they sell network appliances for ISPs, and there’s hundreds of these companies out there. This could be the “Guns don’t kill people, People kill people” argument that many gun owners use. However, if you look at other companies such as AdvancedIO</a> in Burnaby, you have to wonder why you need so many FPGAs inside a network appliance, and what you can make those FPGAs do. Unlike Sandvine, which sticks to the whole vendor for telecom thing, AdvancedIO appears to be more up-front with the “We are going to fucking spy on you” thing.
Also, remember those F-35 fighters that the Harper Government wants? These people are working on that</a>. Are these the Canadian jobs that the Harper Government is trying to protect? How many people work at this company? At any rate, there’s almost no information on the website itself, so all we have is what I can ATIP out of the Canadian Govt, and of course, Wikileaks.
As far as other technology, the criteria appears to be as follows:
- The technology can be used to intercept</li>
- The technology has been purchased by a government that is known to spy on its citizens</li>
- The technology has been used for that purpose by that government</li> </ul> That's a pretty wide net, but it explains why certain companies that are in Vancouver aren't mentioned, such as military contractors, and other such groups. I'm surprised that not every vendor of network hardware isn't on here. I'm guessing that if a company is on here, their gear was found in a place that it shouldn't have been. Still, three seems like a small number for Canada. Something tells me this info is far from complete.