Canada hosting Syria government websites

OTTAWA- Canada is hosting websites of the Syrian government in a possible breach of sanctions over a deadly crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's forces, Canadian researchers said Thursday.
An investigation by a University of Toronto group that last year uncovered a China-based online spy network found that the websites of Syria's ministries of culture, transport and others, as well as Syrian television Addounia TV are being hosted on Canada-based web servers.

All of them are subject to Canadian sanctions, but a Canadian government official was not immediately available to comment on the revelations.
"Our findings peel back the layers of a complex, highly nuanced, and often seamy world of web hosting," said Ron Deibert, director of the university's Citizen Lab.
"That Syrian government websites, including a Syrian state-backed television station known to be inciting violence, are hosted in Canada, is at minimum in contradiction to Canada's stated foreign policy and possibly material support to a regime that is now globally condemned for its repression and violence."
Addounia TV is sanctioned by Canada and the European Union for inciting violence against Syrian citizens.
It and several Syrian ministries have been using intermediary companies such as Platinum Incorporated, which have servers in Canada, seemingly to get around the sanctions, the Citizen Lab said in a statement.
The Citizen Lab in 2010 uncovered a China-based network which had stolen Indian military secrets, hacked the Dalai Lama's office and computers around the world in an elaborate cyber espionage scheme.
It has now also disclosed evidence that the website of the media arm of Hezbollah -- which is banned in Canada as a terrorist group -- is also hosted on Canadian and US-based web servers and uses Canadian servers to stream its television broadcasts globally.
Al-Manar satellite broadcasts have been banned by the United States, France, Spain, and Germany as well as the European Union.

Friday, November 18th 2011

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