Using spyware technology that can intercept telephone text messages, the Syrian government has resorted to applying blocks on text messages which contain politically sensitive terms such as revolution, or demonstration.
In the wake of the ongoing Syrian uprising, demanding the resignation of President Basher al-Assad and an end to autocracy, the government is desperately trying to find ways to contain the anti-regime sentiments.
Syriatel Mobile Telecom SA, the largest mobile phone operator in the country, blocks messages with equipment supplied by Cellusys Ltd. and AdaptiveMobile, privately-held companies based in Dublin, according to a Bloomberg report.
Though the European Union had earlier issued a ban on exports of surveillance technology to Syria - in a bid to minimize human rights violations by the Syrian regime - the sales of text-blocking equipments were legal, it has been reported.
By narrowing down modes of communications with filters, the government has effectively minimized protesters' ability to organize and fuel dissent.
However, AdaptiveMobile has denied any involvement in the human rights violations carried out using its equipments.
In a statement to TheJournal.ie, AdaptiveMobile refuted the Bloomberg report and said that it never had a relationship, provided services or engaged with the Syrian government or associated organizations.
The Irish company, distancing itself from the controversy, said that it does not condone the unlawful use or abuse of any software and/or technology and condemns any abuse of telecommunications networks to abridge human rights.
Cellusys, meanwhile, said it is unaware of how its equipments are put to use by the Syrian government.
Once they have the systems, they control it, Cellusys CEO Dawood Ghalaieny told Bloomberg. If it is used for something else, there is not much that can be done, he said.