BIS Adds Two Parties to Entity List for Sending Internet Filtering Equipment to Syria

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BUREAU OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY
Thursday, December 15, 2011 Office of Public Affairs
www.bis.doc.gov 202-482-2721

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) today announced that it will add one individual and one company in United Arab Emirates to the BIS Entity List. The two parties are being added based on evidence that they purchased U.S.-origin internet filtering devices and transshipped the devices to Syria. The same devices have been the subject of recent press reporting related to their potential use by the Syrian government to block pro-democracy websites and identify pro-democracy activists as part of Syria's brutal crackdown against the Syrian people.

“Today’s action is part of an aggressive investigation by BIS's Office of Export Enforcement into the diversion of U.S. technology to Syria. It is vital that we keep technology that can be used to further the repression of the Syrian people out of the hands of the Syrian government,” said Under Secretary for Industry and Security Eric L. Hirschhorn. "This investigation is ongoing and additional enforcement actions are likely."

BIS’s Office of Export Enforcement has obtained evidence that Waseem Jawad, using the company name Infotec, a.k.a., Info Tech, ordered multiple Blue Coat SG9000-20 Proxy devices in December 2010 from a Blue Coat authorized distributor in the U.A.E. That authorized distributor in turn placed an order for the devices with Blue Coat. A December 2010 email notification identified the end-user of the Blue Coat products for this order as the Ministry of Communication (National Telecom), Al Fadi Street, Baghdad, Iraq. In February 2011, the devices were shipped from the United States to the United Arab Emirates, and ownership was transferred to Waseem Jawad, Info Tech, RAKFTZ, U.A.E. Approximately three days later, the devices departed the U.A.E. for delivery to Syria. Several of these devices have been identified by serial number as devices being used by the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment in Damascus, Syria.

The Entity List contains a list of names of certain foreign persons – including businesses, research institutions, government and private organizations, and individuals that have been determined through an interagency review process to have engaged in activities contrary to U.S. national security and/or foreign policy interests. These persons are restricted from receiving items subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

BIS controls exports and reexports of dual-use commodities, technology, and software for reasons of national security, missile technology, nuclear non-proliferation, chemical and biological weapons non-proliferation, crime control, regional stability, foreign policy and anti-terrorism. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations. For more information, please visit www.bis.doc.gov.

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