Consumers Boycott Nokia, Siemens for Selling to Iran

Consumers Boycott Nokia, Siemens for Selling to Iran
Consumers Boycott Nokia, Siemens for Selling to Iran

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By Kim Zetter
Threat Level
June 23, 2009

Consumers are calling for a boycott of telecom equipment makers Nokia 
and Siemens after the Wall Street Journal reported that the companies=E2=80=99 
joint networking firm sold sophisticated internet surveillance equipment 
to Iran =E2=80=94 a story that the company says is false.

Despite the denial, boycotters have written Nokia saying they=E2=80=99ve 
destroyed their Nokia phones, and are telling friends and family to 
avoid Nokia products until the company =E2=80=9Ccan make the right ethical 

According to the Journal, a system installed in Iran by Nokia Siemens 
Networks =E2=80=94 a Finland-based joint venture between Nokia and Seimens =E2=80=94 
provides Iranian authorities with the ability to conduct deep-packet 
inspection of online communications to monitor the contents and track 
the source of e-mail, VoIP calls, and posts to social networking sites 
such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. The newspaper also said 
authorities had the ability to alter content as it intercepted the 
traffic from a state-owned internet choke point.

A spokesman for Nokia Siemens Networks, however, said the Journal got 
the story wrong, and that the system it installed in Iran late last year 
is incapable of conducting deep-packet inspection of internet 
communications =E2=80=94 or conducting any internet surveillance at all. The 
company said it installed a cell phone network in Iran, and like all 
modern telecom switches, the equipment includes a capability that allows 
the government to conduct wiretaps of telephone calls made from targeted 


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