NetApp Reports Giving U.S. Information in Syria Spy Gear Probe

NetApp Inc. said it complied with a U.S. request for information related to reports it sold storage technology underpinning an Internet-surveillance system being built last year for Syria.

“We have met with U.S. government officials, provided information at their request, and expressed our willingness to continue cooperating with any further inquiry or investigation,” the Sunnyvale, California-based maker of computer storage systems said in its annual report, filed yesterday after the close of regular trading.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security started an investigation of NetApp’s role in the Syrian system after Bloomberg reported on the project in November. Eugene Cottilli, a bureau spokesman, said last month that the investigation was continuing. He didn’t respond today to e-mail and phone requests for comment.

NetApp has condemned any potential use of its equipment in Syria and is conducting an internal review, the company said in its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Jodi Baumann, a NetApp spokeswoman, didn’t respond to e-mail and phone requests today for comment.

The Italian company Area SpA, which spearheaded the development of the surveillance project, bought the NetApp gear from an Italian distributor and exported it to Syria, Bloomberg reported in November. Area has since cancelled the project.

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