Blue Coat has saluted US authorities for its punishment of Computerlinks after the distributor's Middle East arm shipped kit to Syria in contravention of a trade embargo.
The security vendor today issued a statement acknowledging that Dubai-based Computerlinks ZFCO has been penalised for the "unlawful diversion of Blue Coat ProxySG appliances to Syria" in 2011. Blue Coat outlines that it has long since parted company with Emirati distie and has "also taken additional steps to guard against future diversions of its products by third parties and bolster its compliance programme".
Measures taken include more training for employees, additional compliance staff, improved screening systems and increased requirements in agreements with partners. Blue Coat president David Murphy claimed his company will give whatever assistance is required to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in uncovering and stamping out illegal activity.
"We commend the BIS for pursuing and penalising the third parties responsible for the unlawful transfer of our products to Syria without our knowledge," he said.
"We take care to ensure that our products are sold in accordance with laws that prohibit the sale of our technology for certain end uses and to certain destinations and end users. We have cooperated extensively with the US government and will continue to support its ongoing investigation into the unlawful diversion of our products as required."
Reuters reports that Computerlinks has been fined $2.8m - the maximum possible amount. In addition to supplying the kit to the Syrian government, Computerlinks also reportedly provided wrap-around services for the technology, which was allegedly used to monitor citizens.
The distributor had previously misled Blue Coat by claiming it had supplier to Iraq and Afghanistan, not Syria, according to Reuters, but has now agreed to be audited by a third party as part of the settlement with the US BIS.
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