Sandvine’s Technology Used for Web Censoring in More Than a Dozen Nations

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(Bloomberg) — In Jordan,  Sandvine Inc.’s equipment was used to censor an LGBTQ website. Egypt’s government relied on Sandvine equipment to block access to independent news sites. In Azerbaijan, it was deployed for a social media blackout, current and former employees say.



a group of people holding a sign: Demonstrators hold signs and wave Belarus flags during a protest outside Francisco Partners headquarters in San Francisco, California, on Sept. 18.


© Bloomberg
Demonstrators hold signs and wave Belarus flags during a protest outside Francisco Partners headquarters in San Francisco, California, on Sept. 18.

Last month, U.S. -based Sandvine, which is owned by the private equity firm Francisco Partners,  said it would stop selling its equipment in Belarus after Bloomberg News reported that it was used to censor the internet during a crucial election. In explaining its decision, the company said it abhors “the use of technology to suppress the free flow of information resulting in human rights violations.”

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But the company’s equipment — which is often used to manage the flow of network traffic —  has also been used to censor the internet in more than a dozen countries in recent years,  according to three current, five former employees and company documents.  Those countries include Algeria, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, according to Sandvine sales records with government agencies and network operators — both private and government-controlled —  seen by Bloomberg News.

In those countries, Sandvine’s website blocking feature has enabled politically motivated filtering of news and social media websites and messaging apps, according to the current and former Sandvine employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential transactions.  In addition, Sandvine has continued to provide updates and technical expertise to many of those customers, according to the employees and the documents.

Sandvine declined to comment on specific deals with countries or network providers. But it said in a written statement

There May Be Two Dozen Superhabitable Planets Outside the Solar System, According to Scientists

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There May Be Two Dozen Superhabitable Planets Outside the Solar System, According to Scientists

They’re more than 100-light-years away!

Looking for a safe place to travel on vacation with your family? Instead of an island getaway or road trip across the country, how about any of the 24 recently discovered superhabitable planets in outer space? Astronauts have discovered two dozen planets that are capable of sustaining human life, according to a report published in the journal Astrobiology. The study, which was led by Washington State University geobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch, found that these “super-habitable” worlds are older, larger, warmer, and moister than Earth.

Getty / Lev Savitskiy

“With the next space telescopes coming up, we will get more information, so it is important to select some targets,” said Schulze-Makuch in a statement. “We have to focus on certain planets that have the most promising conditions for complex life. However, we have to be careful to not get stuck looking for a second Earth, because there could be planets that might be more suitable for life than ours.”

Related: Astronomers Discovered a New Planet Deep in the Galaxy That Could Be Another Earth

Each of the 24 planets met a certain list of criteria pre-determined by researchers. One of the key factors is that all of the planets exist in the habitable orbit around a star where liquid water can exist due to an ideal temperature. Other conditions that were considered for a superhabitable planet include the life expectancy of the host star; size and mass of the planets; and surface temperature of the planets. The planets are all also significantly larger than Earth, which means that there is even more habitable land available. The warm temperature and larger mass could also mean that the planets are well suited to supporting

The Daily 202: A dozen questions to gauge the political ramifications of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis

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This October surprise upends the presidential campaign with just over a month until Election Day. This will draw fresh attention to Trump’s public and private squabbles with a number of the medical experts in his administration over how seriously to take the virus. The diagnosis will also make it difficult for the president to deflect attention to other issues. But it is impossible at this moment to state anything with certitude. How exactly this development impacts the final 32 days of the race depends on the answers to these dozen questions:

1) How sick will the president get? 

An unnamed White House official told the Associated Press this morning that the president is experiencing “mild symptoms” but did not specify.

The president’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement that the Trumps “are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

“We are feeling good,” the first lady tweeted this morning.

Ronny Jackson, Trump’s former White House physician who is now running for Congress in Texas, called into Fox News overnight to claim, without appearing to have first-hand information, that the president is asymptomatic. “I will bet you that he does not develop symptoms, that he moves on and this does not become a big deal,” Jackson said, adding that the president will “weather this storm.”

“Covid-19 has proved particularly lethal for older people, especially those who are obese and have preëxisting conditions. Trump is seventy-four and overweight,” writes New Yorker editor David Remnick. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight out of ten covid-19-related deaths in the United States have been of people sixty-five and older. Trump’s doctors say that he is generally healthy—though, on November 16, 2019, Trump was taken to Walter Reed National