Demand US and European Co's Stop Supporting Deadly #Syria Net Surveillance
  • Petitioned CEOs of 4 Western tech co's: Area, NetApp, Qosmos and Utimaco

This petition was delivered to:

CEOs of 4 Western tech co's: Area, NetApp, Qosmos and Utimaco

Demand US and European Co's Stop Supporting Deadly #Syria Net Surveillance

    1. Petition by

      Access Now

December 2011


Victory!  After a petition gathered 20,000 signatures, Italian company Area SpA has withdrawn support for a controversial project that would have enabled Syrian forces to track online activities and locations of activists.

The petition was launched by Access, an internet freedom group, and Anas Qtiesh, a well-known Syrian tech blogger,  after news broke in early November that a small group of American and European tech companies were building a system designed to help the Syrian regime track down dissidents online.  

Earlier this week, Area SpA, who were heading the project, finally bowed to weeks of pressure and withdrew from the project.

"The fact that these companies were even doing this sort of business in Syria in the first place is highly damning of their ethical standards," said Brett Solomon, Director of Access. "While I'm relieved that this project has stopped, it's clear that we can't leave it to profit-driven businesses to make choices about what technology is being sold where.

“In the hands of a repressive government, this technology is as dangerous as any weapon,” Solomon continued, “and we'll be campaigning to make sure that its international sale is stopped in the future."

"I'm excited that these companies have stopped working on this atrocious project," said Anas Qtiesh, the Syrian blogger working with Access. "I hope their owners and investors realize that pursuing profits in working with authoritarian regimes would eventually harm their bottom line, tarnish their brand, and compromise future business opportunities – not to mention that such endeavors endanger the lives and freedoms of the people of Syria." 

US Senators Mark Kirk, Republican, and Robert Casey, Democrat, issued a statement demanding immediate investigation into the deal between these companies and the Syrian government. They have also demanded the U.S. suspend further projects with California-based NetApp, which supplied technology to the Syrian internet monitoring project.


Andrea Formenti, Area President & CEO, Tom Georgens, NetApp President & CEO, Thibaut Bechetoille Qosmos CEO, Steve Munford Sophos (owner of Utimaco) CEO are the heads of four Western companies helping Syria set up perhaps the world's most sophisticated online tracking and surveillance system, which would assit Syrian forces in their door-to-door hunt for activists. Their involvement will result in the detainment and possible deaths of innocent Syrian citizens.

The companies have been racing against the clock to get the system up and running, but recent public pressure has them on high alert. One company has announced a temporary hold on activities, and two others are saying they are reviewing the situation. The technologies of these companies are required to enable the surveillance system to work properly.

We are calling on all four companies to pull out permanently and ensure their technologies are not used there, ensuring President Assad's latest deadly plan will stumble before it properly gets off the ground.


CEOs of 4 Western tech co's: Area, NetApp, Qosmos and Utimaco

Your company's involvement with the Syrian surveillance regime will result in the detainment and possible deaths of innocent Syrian citizens. We call on you to immediately and permanently withdraw your operations in Syria and ensure that your technology is not used there.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 20,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Laura Gomez PEMBROKE PINES, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      Syrians need their freedom! Assad is killing his own people, leaving women, children, and whole families dead on the streets. People can't even bury their loved ones that were killed by the Assad army because of the fear of getting sniped. The Free Syrian Army can't hold on forever!! They all need our help!!

    • Gertraud Wegst BUSECK, GERMANY
      • almost 3 years ago

      Selling weapons to a government that kills its own people makes the seller the extended arm of that government - and responsible!

      • almost 3 years ago

      I support this cause. Please also check out the petition I created to help address human trafficking in the province of British Columbia.

      • almost 3 years ago

      Syrian people NEED freedom

    • Jon Pierson DROGHEDA, IRELAND
      • almost 3 years ago

      It comes as no surprise that Western – especially US – companies work to profit from the overt suppression of human rights and that is a shame. It is a shame that electorates continue to vote in regimes controlled by big business (and now, in Italy's case, run by big business) and it is a shame that so-called public representatives put the profits of big business ahead of the needs of of ordinary people, both at home and abroad.


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