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Nokia Siemens Sued For Providing Monitoring Equipment To Iran 275

Just over a year ago, we found out that Nokia Siemens provided internet monitoring equipment to Iran. Now, reader Tootech sends in news that the company is being sued by an Iranian journalist who was captured with the help of that equipment. From El Reg: "Isa Saharkhiz went into hiding following Iran's 2009 presidential elections, after publishing an article branding the Grand Ayatollah as a hypocrite who was primarily responsible for vote tallies widely regarded as being fraudulent. According to a complaint filed in federal court in Virginia, officials with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security in Iran tracked him down with the help of cellphone-monitoring devices and other eavesdropping gear provided by Nokia Siemens. 'Defendants knowingly and willingly delivered very capable and sophisticated equipment for unlawful intercepting, monitoring, and filtering of electronic communications ("Intelligence Solutions") to Iranian officials,' the complaint alleged. ... According to the document, Saharkhiz has been severely tortured since his arrest. He was held in solitary confinement for more than 80 days, and his ribs were broken in a struggle during his arrest. The complaint said it may be amended to add as many as 1,500 other political prisoners who are being held under similar circumstances. Additional defendants may also be added."
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Nokia Siemens Sued For Providing Monitoring Equipment To Iran

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  • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:39AM (#33352564)

    "sophisticated equipment for unlawful intercepting, monitoring, and filtering of electronic communications "

    Unlawful export, I would understand. That would probably violate some or other US law, if there were components, exported from the US used in those products.

    But unlawful monitoring? What would the logic behind this be?

  • Re:Because they can (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dbcad7 ( 771464 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:58AM (#33352666)
    You are confused.. I can tell by your statements.. We'll start at the beginning.. Whether or not the Iranian government recognizes an American court decision doesn't matter, because they are not being sued for anything in this... An American embargo doesn't matter either, because nothing was sold by an American company.. If you want to get to brass tacks, there isn't a major economic power in the world, that isn't guilty as hell for selling equipment causing suppression, misery, and death.. And they sell it to whoever has money.. and sell ?., heck they even give it away and charge the taxpayers for it to keep the corporations churning out more.. As the fine article states.. This is someone suing the wrong people in the wrong court.. However, as they used to say on The Peoples Court "Anybody can sue anybody for anything."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @06:10AM (#33352706)

    Totalitarian regimes are, by and large, quite benign. They only start getting heavy handed if you attack or subvert the power structures. In some countries it may well be the least worst option. While there was a compelling case for attacking Iran, making the same mistake over Iraq by sabre rattling, spreading hysterical libertarian arguments in the so-called "free press" in the West, and fermenting trouble on the ground can be counter productive.

    A large part of Iraq's problems are recovering from historical problems such as their last democracy being undermined, a strong but understandable Islamic revolution, and last but not least developing their own self-confidence, understanding, and role in the world. I don't rate their President very highly but I get the sense he knows his limits. The ruling clerics have shown signs of subtle reasoning and an ability to negotiate. The people are intelligent enough.

    Comic book villain leaders, Cold War style subversion, and dissidents are so yesterday because it heaps more problems on top of problems. If you want to turn the heat up into a shooting war or see a spectacular collapse that's probably the way to go but haven't we moved on from that? Shouldn't we be educating, supporting, and investing? It's not a soft option. Indeed, it can take a lot of work and patience. But where has force and impatience got us?

  • Re:Because they can (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @06:11AM (#33352716)

    I assume by "openly states its goal to wipe another country" you mean, wipe another country off the map, namely Israel. Learn to read. Once that step is complete, progress to step 2, reading the actual speech people like you love to misquote. Never said it, never said anything close to it.

    You think Iran is "bad" for tapping all phone communications? Get on your us landline or cell and start making credible threats against your government, government buildings, or the president himself. Make sure this is a private call to a friend or something. Just wait for the SS to show up.

  • "severely tortured"? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by migloo ( 671559 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @06:19AM (#33352748)
    Just wondering what "not severely tortured" would feel like.
  • Re:Because they can (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kauttapiste ( 633236 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @06:59AM (#33352916)
    Especially as NSN is a Finnish company (HQ in Espoo, Finland)! Petty details aside, I believe the capability to monitor GSM networks is mandated by US and EU..maybe this guy should just sue Obama!
  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @08:23AM (#33353442)
    There exists no mainstream equipment without that capability. Sell it to someone in the US or UK and you are fine, but sell it to Iran and it's suddenly an international incident. If it was such a dangerous feature, why is it required in the USA (and probably many other places as well)?
  • Re:Because they can (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:57AM (#33354470) Homepage

    This is what the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said on October 26 at that World Without Zionism conference.

    He said, "Israel must be wiped off the map of the world, and God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionists."

    Who are these "sane" people who want a democracy overthrown by a theocracy? Dude, you need to get out more and experience a diversity of opinion instead of the old echo chamber.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard