Uppdatering om Netclean och Turkiet

During the Almedalen week a number of articles about the Swedish company NetClean were published in the daily press. Public radio SR P3 brought up the problem and DFRI participated. Furthermore, we found out that NetClean already have the Egyptian government as customers. Despite the extensive censorship that takes place in the country NetClean claim that their equipment does not contribute to the censorship. NetClean also claims that the equipment is “locked” and can not be used for other content than what’s on the revocation lists from IWF (Internet Watch Foundation).

NetClean have in a blog post said that Whitebox (the product that performs censorship on the network operator level) is located in approximately 20 countries. DFRI is still awaiting the response to the open letter we sent last week.

Despite the criticism, it is unlikely that a deal of this magnitude can be stopped in the first place. DFRI continues to work on the issue. For those who want to help us and wonder what they can do, a good first step is to inform themselves more about the subject. The only Swedish research on internet filtering has been done by Marie Eneman at the University of Gothenburg. In an interview with NetClean CEO one can read:

Christian Berg refers to Marie Eneman at Chalmers research on filtering of the internet and wrote a thesis which, among other things, is about overblocking – to mistakenly include too much on the list.
– She came to the conclusion that there was no problem, he says.
– I did not at all, says Marie Eneman.

Journalist Anders R Olsson has also written a book about filtering which can be downloaded for free. DFRI’s European partner organization EDRi published in 2010 a blocking booklet. It is in English but is easy to understand. However, it has no information about what happened after 2010, such as court cases, etc.

Öppet brev till Christian Berg, VD Netclean

Hello Christian Berg,

The people behind this open letter are active in DFRI — Föreningen för Digitala Fri- och Rättigheter (Association for Digital Freedom and Rights) — acting against censorship and against restrictions on people’s fundamental rights and freedoms on the internet.

We have long worked with privacy technologies to help dissidents and journalists in countries such as Turkey. Through this work we have come in contact with Turkish citizens who are increasingly concerned about the Turkish government’s actions against activities by government critics [1,2].

In recent weeks, NetClean’s agreement with the Turkish government on internet filtering has increased the worry. Especially after the information in the media [3] that the Turkish Government intend to use NetClean technology to censor social networks.

We from DFRI would therefore like to know more about NetClean’s agreement with the Turkish government in order to determine if the concern is warranted:

1) What equipment (hardware and software) has NetClean provided its Turkish partner?
2) Does this deal contain only equipment from NetClean, or does it also include the equipment from third parties? If so, which partner or partners?
3) Under what conditions have NetClean supplied equipment to its Turkish partner?
4) Do the contractual terms of the deal allow that the equipment may be used in ways other than that which emerged in NetClean’s blog post? [4]
5) What do NetClean do if the equipment is used for other than its intended purpose?
6) Does NetClean have some established processes for monitoring what their equipment is used for?
7) Have NetClean received any assurances from the buyer that it will only be used for the intended purpose?
8) Have NetClean made demands that the equipment must not be used for other things than the intended purpose?
9) How will NetClean ensure such compliance?
10) How would NetClean handle violations of these requirements?
10a) Would violation of these requirements constitute a breach of contract?
11) Can this product be integrated in or interface with other products, and if so, which ones?
12) What other equipment will the NetClean equipment be integrated into or interface with in the Turkish partner solution?
13) Does NetClean have any policies or ethical guidelines for how their equipment may be used and not used?

We hope that you can answer us in detail on every single issue as soon as possible and that we can continue to have a constructive dialogue.

Yours sincerely

DFRI members through the Board

1. http://edri.org/turkish-government-acquire-tool-censor-social-media/
2. http://article.gmane.org/gmane.org.user-groups.dfri/1227
3. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-top-soldier-warns-against-social-media-as-govt-to-purchase-software-against-illegal-shares.aspx?pageID=238&nID=67178&NewsCatID=341
4. http://blog.netclean.com/netclean-statement-30-5-14/

Netclean och Turkiet

Företaget Netclean har nyligen hamnat i fokus då de har landat en jätteaffär med den turkiska regeringen, värd 40 miljoner euro.

Företaget tillverkar utrustning vars primära syfte är att stoppa barnpornografi, men utrustningen kan också användas för att blockera annat innehåll, till exempel regimkritiska åsikter i sociala medier.

Turkiet har tidigare helt blockerat befolkningens access till bland annat twitter. Det finns därför all anledning att vara mycket skeptisk till vad Turkiet avser använda utrustningen till.

Affären ökar Netcleans omsättning avsevärt med tanke på att bolagets totala omsättning var 42 miljoner kronor 2012.


Uppdaterat, Nya länkar samt datum.

Läs mer:
Göteborgsföretag tjänar storkovan på att inskränka yttrandefriheten i Turkiet (Copyriot, 12 juni 2014)
Turkish censorship – Swedish built, by royal appointment
(EDRI.org, 18 juni 2014)
Exakt vad är det som Netclean ska blockera i Turkiet? (Copyriot, 22 juni 2014)
Svenskt dataprogram stryper turkiskt internet (GP.se, 27 juni 2014) 
Netclean måste svara om turkisk censur (SVD.se, 2 juli 2014)

Netcleans kommentarer:
Netclean statement (Netclean.com, 30 maj 2014)
Working with governments to combat child sex abuse (Netclean.com, 25 juni 2014)
Netcleans lösning räddar tusentals barn över hela världen (Pressrelease mynewsdesk.com, 2 juli 2014)

DFRI på Birdie

Idag är det Birdie, Sveriges största ideella datorfestival och även en av de äldsta datorfestivalerna i Sverige.

DFRI har representanter närvarande på den nya Expo-delen. Om ni söker efter oss så finns vi i närheten av studiefrämjandet och delar bord med Uppsala Linux User Group (ULUG).

Birdie startades redan 1993. Årligen samlar Birdie tusentals datorintresserade som programmerar, gör film, skapar bilder, tävlar i e-sport, facebookar, ser film, lyssnar på musik. Här samlas den inofficiella framtiden inom IT.

Kom förbi och prata med oss, se på expon eller varför inte delta i datorfestivalen!