Investigation data from two reports around the Blue Coat networking kit.
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What Is It?

The data related to two investigations of Blue Coat ProxySG and Packetshaper installations across the world as collected in early and mid 2013 by Citizen Lab and our partners. Reported findings can be found here and here

The first investigation took place in early 2013 and is contained in the 01-planet-bluecoat directory The second investigation took place in mid 2013 and is contained in the 02-deviceswander directory

The following individuals contributed to this report: Morgan Marquis-Boire (lead technical research) and Jakub Dalek (lead technical research), Sarah McKune (lead legal research), Matthew Carrieri, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Ron Deibert, Saad Omar Khan, Helmi Noman, John Scott-Railton, and Greg Wiseman.

Summary of Key Findings of Planet BlueCoat Investigation

  • Blue Coat Devices capable of filtering, censorship, and surveillance are being used around the world. During several weeks of scanning and validation that ended in January 2013, we uncovered 61 Blue Coat ProxySG devices and 316 Blue Coat PacketShaper appliances, devices with specific functionality permitting filtering, censorship, and surveillance.

  • 61 of these Blue Coat appliances are on public or government networks in countries with a history of concerns over human rights, surveillance, and censorship (11 ProxySG and 50 PacketShaper appliances). We found these appliances in the following locations:

  • Blue Coat ProxySG: Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE.

  • PacketShaper: Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela. Our findings support the need for national and international scrutiny of Blue Coat implementations in the countries we have identified, and a closer look at the global proliferation of “dual-use” information and communication technologies. Internet service providers responsible for these deployments should consider publicly clarifying their function, and we hope Blue Coat will take this report as an opportunity to explain their due diligence process to ensure that their devices are not used in ways that violate human rights.

Summary of Findings for "Some Devices Wander" Investigation

  • In this report, our third on Blue Coat Systems, we use a combination of network measurement and scanning methods and tools to identify instances of Blue Coat ProxySG and PacketShaper devices. This kind of equipment can be used to secure and maintain networks, but it can also be used to implement politically-motivated restrictions on access to information, and monitor and record private communications.

  • We found Blue Coat devices on public networks of 83 countries (20 countries with both ProxySG and PacketShaper, 56 countries with PacketShaper only, and 7 countries with ProxySG only). Included in these countries are regimes with questionable human rights records, and three countries that are subject to US sanctions: Iran, Syria, and Sudan.

  • Our findings raise questions around the sale of “dual-use” communication technologies to national jurisdictions where the implementation of such technology has not been publicly debated or shaped by the rule of law. The issues raised by this report go beyond one company and its products and services, and underscore the imperatives of addressing the global public policy implications of internationally-marketed communications infrastructure and services.


All data is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International and available in full here and summarized here