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HP products may have been sold to Syria through third parties, admits company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 25 Nov 2012 12:00

HP products may have been sold to Syria through third parties, admits company Earlier this year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Global Security Risk requested that HP answer for its products being sold to Syria, where it would have faced sanctions.
The PC giant has admitted now that its products may have made it to the country through third-party distributors or resellers, but that they did not directly sell to the nation.

In their original request, the SEC wrote: "We are aware of November 2011 news reports that your equipment was installed by the Italian company, Area SpA, in Syria as part of a nationwide surveillance and tracking system designed to monitor people in that country.

Please describe to us the nature, duration, and extent of your past, current, and anticipated contacts with Syria and Iran, whether through subsidiaries, distributors, resellers, vendors, retailers, or other direct or indirect arrangements."


HP says it has not authorized any products to be sold to Syria and that the Italian company likely purchased the products from an HP partner that assumed they would remain in Italy. HP also ended its contract with Area SpA in April following the news.

The company also ended all sales to partners with customers in Iran in 2009. However, "it is always possible that products may be diverted to Iran or Syria after being sold to channel partners, such as distributors and resellers."

One such example (via Reuters), is how Cisco computer equipment made its way to Iran's largest telecom through China's ZTE. Cisco recently cut all ties with ZTE following the news.

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