Battle Heats Up Over Exports of Surveillance Technology

Ayman Ammar and Rashid Albuni claimed to be computer technology distributors, operating through multiple corporations in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The United States government, though, charged them with smuggling — of illegally shipping American equipment to the Syrian government that can help it monitor Internet traffic and spy on dissidents.The Syrian case, in which the two men were fined last month for violating American economic sanctions against Syria, is one of the few the Obama administration has pursued to limit authoritarian governments from acquiring technology that enables censoring, spying and hacking.

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