Feeds

Nokia Siemens slammed for supplying snoop tech to Iran

'Monitoring centers' led to journo capture

High performance access to file storage

An Iranian journalist imprisoned in that country without trial since June 2009 is suing telecommunications concern Nokia Siemens for allegedly providing the surveillance equipment that led to his capture.

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. “In effect, defendants are directly involved in the unlawful censoring and monitoring of journalists, activists, and citizens in Iran by supplying the government of Iran with the technology needed to perform interceptions, monitoring, controls, content filtering, deep packing filtering and network scanning.”

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 durring 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.

The defendants named so far in the case are accused of supplying “intelligence monitoring centers” used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in 2008. As long ago as October 2007, the group was cited by the US State Department for its support of terrorism.

“The technology supplied by defendants allows Iranian government authorities to monitor any communications across a network, which includes voice calls, text messages, instant messages, and web traffic,” the complaint alleged. “This monitoring system can also interrogate data to see what information is being passed back and forth.”

The allegations against Nokia Siemens echo those made in February by members of the European Parliament.

Nokia Siemens said then that the criticism was based on a misunderstanding of the use of its technology in Iran. It responded to the most recent allegations in a statement that read:

"The Saharkhiz lawsuit is brought in the wrong place, against the wrong party and on the wrong premise. The Saharkhizes allege brutal treatment by the government in Iran, but they have not sued that government. Instead, they are seeking to blame Nokia Siemens Networks for the acts of the Iranian authorities by filing a lawsuit in the U.S., a country that has absolutely no connection to the issue they are raising." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.