An executive with the telecom equipment joint venture told an EU human rights hearing that the company regretted supplying technology used to suppress dissent
Nokia-Siemens Networks on Wednesday (2 June) admitted its share of the blame for Iran's brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrators last year after selling mobile phone surveillance to the authoritarian regime.
"We absolutely do find ourselves in a tricky situation and need the help of people in this room to help us navigate in these challenging times," Barry French, head of marketing and corporate affairs with Nokia-Siemens Networks, a joint venture of Nokia (NOK) and Siemens (SI), told MEPs during a hearing on human rights and new information technologies.
The Finnish-German telecoms joint venture was at the centre of an ethics controversy last year when it emerged that it had supplied surveillance technology to two Iranian mobile phone operators. The technology was used to track down dissidents amid the mass protests following the contested re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009.
Apart from the crackdown on demonstrators, which saw 36 confirmed deaths, Iranian authorities blocked websites such as Twitter and Facebook, jammed and tracked cell phone calls and text messages. They used the so-called monitoring centre acquired from Nokia-Siemens in 2008 to carry out the work
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