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Censorship China Communications Government Security United States IT Politics Technology

Chinese Firm Helps Iran Spy On Citizens 98

Posted by timothy
from the they're-like-the-bluecoat-of-china dept.
New submitter politkal excerpts from a report at Reuters: "A Chinese telecommunications equipment company has sold Iran's largest telecom firm a powerful surveillance system capable of monitoring landline, mobile and internet communications, interviews and contract documents show. The system was part of a 98.6 million euro ($130.6 million) contract for networking equipment supplied by Shenzhen, China-based ZTE Corp to the Telecommunication Co of Iran (TCI), according to the documents. Government-controlled TCI has a near monopoly on Iran's landline telephone services and much of Iran's internet traffic is required to flow through its network. ... Human rights groups say they have documented numerous cases in which the Iranian government tracked down and arrested critics by monitoring their telephone calls or internet activities. Iran this month set up a Supreme Council of Cyberspace, headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said it would protect 'against internet evils,' according to Iranian state television."
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Chinese Firm Helps Iran Spy On Citizens

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @02:28AM (#39472025)
    A long time ago, during the time of the Shah, the U.S. government helped sell weapons to Iran.

    Then the U.S. government helped sell weapons to Iraq, to fight a war with Iran.

    Now the Chinese are encouraging hostile behavior against the welfare of Iran. Will China become the new money-for-destructiveness king?
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday March 26, 2012 @02:36AM (#39472053) Homepage

    Six years ago, I saw a ZTE branded IPTV router at a hotel in Shanghai. Cheap build quality on the plastics used, but it at least powered on and worked. Par for the course in China. Last year, I saw that the cheapest cellphone Verizon sold was by ZTE.

    People buy cheap. It's how successfully companies generally start out by selling lower tiered products and eventually working their way up to high-end offerings. Watch for it! This company will be as huge as LG at their current rate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @02:38AM (#39472063)

    Don't forget that USA still has the largest spying machines on earth, Echelon, Facebook and Google. Echelon is installed on major ISP's backbones and monitors the traffic of the whole world, while Google and Facebook collect as much information as possible about every human being on planet.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Monday March 26, 2012 @03:05AM (#39472157)
    In my mind I have an idea for someone's dystopian novel where a weak president comes into office of the USA. Then Iran finds a US citizen defaming something. Then the USA president extradites the citizen over. I guess it is bad enough they put a fatwa on a comedian. And police are fighting against peaceful protestors in the USA. Maybe I keep thinking of dystopian futures because it seems like things keep heading that way.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday March 26, 2012 @03:35AM (#39472221)

    Intel, AMD, Texas Instruments, Motorola, Analog Devices, Xilinx, Altera, IBM, nVidia, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ratheon, General Dynamics, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and Apple.

    There's more, those are just the ones that readily come to mind. By extension this means every desktop processor, and nearly every computer processor period (Hitachi and ARM being the two exceptions), every FPGA, much of the world's small signal electronics (opamps, DACs, etc), one of three major airplane manufacturers, most of the world operating systems, and so on.

    Sorry, but I get a little sick of this snark of "The US has no industry!" In fact the US has a massive amount of industrial. It's industrial output is second only to China, and then only recently. More, in terms of high tech the US has it in spades. Take Intel as an example. Far and away the processor found in most computers in the world, desktop and server. US headquartered, and massive US production facilities (of their 10 fabs 7 are in the US including the newest, 1 is in Ireland, 1 is Israel, and 1 in China). The only company in the world with a working 22nm node process online right now (everyone else is 32nm node or 28nm half node). None of this meantions their other areas (networking, storage, satellite, etc). Ya, just slightly high tech, slightly huge.

    The US produces a LOT of things. If you don't know what the failing is yours, not the US's.

  • Re:Holy God.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @05:26AM (#39472509)

    I'd say we had plenty effect on SOPA, seeing as it died.

  • If I lived there... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @05:42AM (#39472547)

    On the one hand I am all for human rights and all as the next guy, but what I don't understand is *why* would you use the phone or internet to criticize the government in a place where you know they are monitoring it, and doing so can get you thrown in jail?

    I mean I know lots of clueless Americans who think "China = Communist = Orwell = bad". Yes everyone is being watched by Chairman Mao 24 hours per day, and every right is being suppressed. Sure. On the other hand, I have actually been to China, and I know people who live there (and people in Japan and the US who used to live there). Guess what? The government may do unfair things, and may be worse than the US (and other) governments in some areas - but there are reasons for it. For example, they have a huge population to monitor.

    Most amazingly, all of this "China does this, China does that", hardly affects normal people. Do you know why? because normal people don't do online and post shit like "Down with Chairman Mao", "screw the communist party!", or search Google for Tienemman (sp?) square, etc. It's known that criticizing the government isn't allowed and can get you in trouble, and most people don't have an interest in getting themselves in trouble, so they don't even try to do those things. If they did, and it didn't work, most of them give up.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't be able to speak out against the government, etc. I personally think they should, but unfortunately that's not my decision to make in China or Iran. If you're one of the people living there, you'll be much happier if you shut up about the things you can't change instead of inciting the wrath of a corrupt government. Things are changing because of economics anyway, it's only a matter of time.

    Now, while most people may have little interest in politics or banned religions, where people do have motivation to circumvent the great firewall is for things like FaceBook, Google Chat, etc.

  • Re:Holy God.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @05:52AM (#39472571)

    Let's take these one by one:

    > SOPA?
    They did have an effect on this one, it's dead (at least for now). The reason there is usually no effect is because people don't know enough about the laws, and some of them are even created in secret.

    > TSA?
    What about the TSA? Nobody likes it, but I don't think anyone has a better idea.

    > Patent laws?

    Well again, the problem here is that the general population has no idea about these. The people who do are usually the ones who benefit from having them. People who know enough to understand the problems patents cause, and aren't in a position to benefit from patents (i.e. individual coders, OSS enthusiasts) are a small number, and not well organized.

    >Weed?
    What about it? Most polls have shown only a minority in favor of legalizing it, so the law matches the people's will.

    >Death penalty?
    This varies by state, just as the polls do, so again, it would seem the law matches people's will.

    > Stem cells?
    This is another situation where most people don't really understand it, and to top it off, religious fanatics in the US have more lobbying power than scientists (and there are more of them). Sadly, this reflects majority rule as well.

    The problem is that "Majority rule" isn't good when the majority is relatively uneducated, stupid, or apathetic. The alternative is to have a two tier voting system, where you have two tiers:
    1. Basic citizen - Can vote on basic issues, have basic rights
    2. Educated citizen - Educated in some area of information, so you can vote on that area as well.

    But, obviously this would be abused, since people could be denied the right to vote by denying them the right to become a type 2 citizen somehow. For example, you could make sure only the "right" people can vote on patent reform by making sure only patent lawyers can vote. I'm sure they'll want to abolish patents, right?

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