Stop the Atrocity Supply Chain


Recommendations for the US Government

Congress should pass legislation targeting the enablers of Syrian atrocities, which for instance could require federal contractors to certify that they’re not in business with Assad’s enabler and mandate the Treasury Secretary to prohibit enabling foreign financial institutions from doing business with American financial institutions.

The State Department should publicly and privately pressure enabling countries, share information with the foreign authorities who can aid in the interdiction of enablers, and direct embassies to collect information on enablers

The Commerce Department should amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to secure control over the delivery of internet and communications technology to repressive regimes like Syria.

The Department of Defense should void its existing contracts with the enablers of atrocities in Syria, should adopt a regulation to prohibit activities with state-owned enterprises, commercial entities, and individuals that enable mass atrocities.

The Treasury Department should impose sanctions that prevent U.S. entities from doing business with the Assad’s enablers and that limit his ability to repatriate funds from oil exports.


Stop the Atrocity Supply Chain


Recommendations for the US Government

Congress should pass legislation targeting the enablers of Syrian atrocities, which for instance could require federal contractors to certify that they’re not in business with Assad’s enabler and mandate the Treasury Secretary to prohibit enabling foreign financial institutions from doing business with American financial institutions.

The State Department should publicly and privately pressure enabling countries, share information with the foreign authorities who can aid in the interdiction of enablers, and direct embassies to collect information on enablers

The Commerce Department should amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to secure control over the delivery of internet and communications technology to repressive regimes like Syria.

The Department of Defense should void its existing contracts with the enablers of atrocities in Syria, should adopt a regulation to prohibit activities with state-owned enterprises, commercial entities, and individuals that enable mass atrocities.

The Treasury Department should impose sanctions that prevent U.S. entities from doing business with the Assad’s enablers and that limit his ability to repatriate funds from oil exports.


Stop the Atrocity Supply Chain


Recommendations for the US Government

Congress should pass legislation targeting the enablers of Syrian atrocities, which for instance could require federal contractors to certify that they’re not in business with Assad’s enabler and mandate the Treasury Secretary to prohibit enabling foreign financial institutions from doing business with American financial institutions.

The State Department should publicly and privately pressure enabling countries, share information with the foreign authorities who can aid in the interdiction of enablers, and direct embassies to collect information on enablers

The Commerce Department should amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to secure control over the delivery of internet and communications technology to repressive regimes like Syria.

The Department of Defense should void its existing contracts with the enablers of atrocities in Syria, should adopt a regulation to prohibit activities with state-owned enterprises, commercial entities, and individuals that enable mass atrocities.

The Treasury Department should impose sanctions that prevent U.S. entities from doing business with the Assad’s enablers and that limit his ability to repatriate funds from oil exports.


Stop the Atrocity Supply Chain


Recommendations for the US Government

Congress should pass legislation targeting the enablers of Syrian atrocities, which for instance could require federal contractors to certify that they’re not in business with Assad’s enabler and mandate the Treasury Secretary to prohibit enabling foreign financial institutions from doing business with American financial institutions.

The State Department should publicly and privately pressure enabling countries, share information with the foreign authorities who can aid in the interdiction of enablers, and direct embassies to collect information on enablers

The Commerce Department should amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to secure control over the delivery of internet and communications technology to repressive regimes like Syria.

The Department of Defense should void its existing contracts with the enablers of atrocities in Syria, should adopt a regulation to prohibit activities with state-owned enterprises, commercial entities, and individuals that enable mass atrocities.

The Treasury Department should impose sanctions that prevent U.S. entities from doing business with the Assad’s enablers and that limit his ability to repatriate funds from oil exports.


Stop the Atrocity Supply Chain


Other Actors

Listed in alphabetical order.

Area Spa (Italy)

Internet Surveillance System

The Italian company was constructing a $17.9 million internet surveillance system in Syria while the atrocities were ongoing. The system would allow the regime to intercept, search, and catalog every email sent inside the country. It would also allow the regime to inspect and archive mobile phone and internet service provider traffic. This would allow the regime to easily identify, track, and attack civilians for their internet activity.

Additional Information

NetApp (USA): NetApp technology would allow the system to archive email messages. Transmitted via NetApp’s Italian subsidiary to an authorized vendor in Italy, who resold the technology to Area SpA for $3.5 million.

Qosmos (France): Qosmos technology would inspect emails and reconstruct all activity on an internet user’s screen.

Ultimaco Safeware AG (Germany): provided gear for area to connect tapped lines to monitoring center computers.

Sophos (U.K.): controls Ultimaco Safeware AG

Hewlett Packard (USA): provided servers and desktop computers worth over $500,000, which underpinned the entire project. HP stated that Area SpA likely procured the technology from an HP partner that was not informed of their ultimate destination.

Finmeccanica (Italy) & Intracom-Telecom (Greece)

Mobile Communication Equipment & Training

This communication and encryption technology and training may have strengthened the regime’s aerial forces, a central part of the regime’s perpetration of crimes against humanity. In May 2011, FinMeccanica reportedly delivered the technology named Tetra, including 500 hand held radios and encryption technology, to Damascus. In February 2012, engineers entered Damascus to train Syrian technicians on using the technology in helicopter terminals.

Additional Information

Greece: a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, Selex Elsag, sold the technology to the Syrian unit of a Greek company named Intracom-Telecom.

The United States: Finmeccanica and Intracom-Telecom both have subsidiaries in the United States, and Finmeccanica has secured a number of U.S. federal contracts.


Stop the Atrocity Supply Chain


About Us

About Human Rights First

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the struggle for human rights so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they don’t, we step in to demand reform, accountability, and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.

Human Rights First works to identify and disrupt the supply chains on which the Syrian government relies to carry out widespread and systematic attacks on civilians. We aim to leverage the full range of U.S. financial and political pressure on enablers of atrocities and to stem the flow of goods and services necessary to perpetrate crimes against humanity.

This project, which marks the two-year anniversary of the conflict in Syria, provides the most comprehensive look at these “enablers” of Syrian atrocities and recommendations for the U.S. government and other countries to stem the blood shed by choking the flow of arms, resources, and money flowing to President Bashar al-Assad.