Nokia network company sold comprehensive spy network to Iran
Company brochure claims equipment can be used to monitor nearly all electronic communications
An electronic surveillance system sold by Nokia Siemens Networks to Iran can be used to spy on nearly all electronic communications, according to the company’s product brochure.
“The system can monitor all voice and data communications very efficiently. In addition, it can snatch messages with content considered suspicious”, says Jukka Manner, Professor of Data Network Technology at the Aalto University.
The monitoring system covers communications on the Internet, as well as land-line and mobile telephone calls, data transfer in the mobile network, instant messages, text and multimedia messages, e-mail communications, mobile telephone positioning information and telefax communications.
“What more would anyone need for monitoring?” Manner asks.
Nokia Siemens Networks confirms that the product sold to Iran is the Monitoring Center, whose sales brochure was acquired by Helsingin Sanomat.
However, the company says that Iran got a test version, which cannot be used for surveillance of the fixed Internet.
The system supports four of the world’s most popular mobile phone technologies. Iran uses second-generation GSM mobile phone technology.
On Friday, Fifi, the online edition of the free-distribution newspaper Voima wrote that Lauri Kivinen, the Head of the Corporate Affairs function at Nokia Siemens Networks, who has been named the next Director-General of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE), has either lied, or then he has not known the basic business activities of his own company, when he discussed the monitoring centres sold to Iran.
Kivinen said in Helsingin Sanomat over a week ago that there was a misperception that Nokia Siemens Network would have sold Internet surveillance equipment to Iran.
Kivinen’s YLE appointment has come under criticism from free speech advocates.
In 2008 Nokia Siemens Networks sold the production of network surveillance equipment to Trovicor, a company which had previously split off from Siemens.
In the same year, Nokia Siemens Networks delivered the network equipment and surveillance system to the state-owned Iran Telecom operator. The predecessor of the joint venture, Nokia Networks, has also sold network equipment to the same operator.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Civil liberties activists criticise choice of Lauri Kivinen as new YLE boss (22.2.2010)
Lauri Kivinen to replace Mikael Jungner as director of national broadcaster (19.2.2010)
COMMENTARY: Iranian blunder for Nokia-Siemens Networks (12.2.2010)