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The Scoop
November 18, 2011

Despite sanctions, US, Canada and Germany still host Assad regime websites

Michael Weiss

Citizen Lab, a programme at the University of Toronto examining the relationship between digital media and human rights, has uncovered alarming evidence that Canada, the United States and Germany — all countries which have imposed sanctions on Syria — are nevertheless hosting web servers for various ministries and departments of the Assad regime. Addounia TV, which has similarly been sanctioned for inciting violence, also has its website hosted in Canada. Here’s a breakdown of Citizen Lab’s key findings on the domains and service providers for Syrian bureaucracies (click on the graphs to see them enlarged):

One IT front company in particular, Platinum Incorporated, which powers many of these websites, is itself hosted through iWeb, a Montreal-based company.

Citizen Lab also shows how Hezbollah’s TV station, Al-Manar, which is included on the Specially Designated Nationals List of entities that ought to have their assets frozen and be prohibited from conducting business in the United States, still has its primary and secondary domains hosted in North America, courtesy of both Canadian and American hosting companies.

Michael Weiss

About Michael Weiss

A widely published journalist, Weiss has expertise in the Israel-Palestine conflict and human rights in the Middle East. He recently wrote HJS's Media Briefing: "Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation: A Preliminary Assessment". Weiss has been published in Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The New Criterion, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Prospect, Standpoint, Democratiya and The New Republic. He keeps a regular blog on foreign policy and the Middle East for the Daily Telegraph and one on culture for The New Criterion.

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