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Nokia-Siemens executive admits firm's technology was used to track down Iranian dissidents during 2009 protests

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3 June 2010

Nokia-Siemens rues Iran crackdown role

Author: Valentina Pop, Bloomberg

Nokia-Siemens Networks [joint venture of Nokia and Siemens]…admitted its share of the blame for Iran's brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrators last year after selling mobile phone surveillance to the authoritarian regime…Iranian authorities…jammed and tracked cell phone calls and text messages. They used the so-called monitoring centre acquired from Nokia-Siemens in 2008 to carry out the work…"We deplore the use of this technology against dissidents," [Barry French, head of marketing and corporate affairs] said, adding that his company has learned its "lesson…" Reporters Without Borders…stressed the role of the EU in preventing human rights infringements facilitated by European companies…

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2 June 2010

Statement to the [European Parliament] Public Hearing on New Information Technologies and Human Rights

Author: Barry French, Nokia Siemens Network

I was asked to talk today about the experience of Nokia Siemens Networks related to Iran and the reported use of telecommunications technology in that country to suppress human rights...Monitoring centers are, in our view,...problematic and have a risk of raising issues related to human rights...While we halted all work related to monitoring centers in Iran in 2009...we believe that we should have understood the issues in Iran better in advance and addressed them more proactively. There have been credible reports from Iran that telecommunications monitoring has been used as a tool to suppress dissent and freedom of speech. We deplore such use of a technology that can bring so many positive benefits to society – and that, in fact, we believe has brought so many positive benefits to Iran.

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11 February 2010

MEPs condemn Nokia Siemens 'surveillance tech' in Iran

Author: Jonathan Fildes, BBC News

Euro MPs have "strongly" criticised telecoms firm Nokia Siemens Networks for providing "surveillance technology" to the Iranian authorities. In a resolution adopted on Wednesday, the MEPs said the hardware was instrumental in the "persecution and arrests of Iranian dissidents"…Nokia Siemens said the technology that it had installed was similar to that used "in all EU member states and the US"…Nokia Siemens told BBC News that it had provided "very basic surveillance" capabilities to Iran Telecom in 2008…Details of Nokia Siemens activities in Iran first came to light in June 2009 when media reports accused the firm of helping the Iranian government intercept communications…

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