Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Senators Want To Punish Nokia, Siemens Over Iran

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-cookies-for-you dept.

Privacy 392

fast66 writes "After hearing about Nokia-Siemens sale of Internet-monitoring software to Iran, US Senators Schumer and Graham want to bar them from receiving federal contracts. They planned the action after hearing about a joint venture of Nokia Corp. of Finland and Siemens AG of Germany that sold a sophisticated Internet-monitoring system to Iran in 2008. According to Nextgov.com, Schumer and Graham's bill would require the Obama administration to identify foreign companies that export sensitive technology to Iran and ban them from bidding on federal contracts, or renew expiring ones, unless they first stop exports to Iran."

cancel ×

392 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First uncensored post (1, Insightful)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523843)

yet here the use DPI for a lot of stuff

Re:First uncensored post (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524473)

Off topic? More like insightful.

Senators want to punish Iran for placing fetters on freedom of speech and democracy? First do something about the NSA running around like the Stasi, the FBI running around like the Gestapo and the TSA from running around like nosy nannies with clubs. Then sort out the "Free Speech Zone" debacle. Then sort out the PATRIOT Act. Then sort out the US government's working on ACTA treaties that are secret.

Maybe then they can get all high-horsey about freedom in other parts of the world. Until then, calling Iran "unfree" is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Re:First uncensored post (4, Interesting)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524571)

Accepting abuses of human rights in other countries is still a bad thing, even if your own government is abusing those very same rights.

If you don't stand against it openly, even if it is hypocritical to do so patriotically, then there's no reason for those within your own country to desist from their own actions.

After all, ignoring another country's abuses just because your own country does likewise is even worse than hypocrisy. It's complicity.

GrpA

Because Cisco would never do such a thing (5, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523847)

This is bull shit. Cisco sold the same type of stuff to China.

This is just more bullshit for the U.S. government to work around trade agreements they've signed in the past.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Insightful)

mehtars (655511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523949)

China does not threaten to bomb israel or destabilize iraq.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (5, Insightful)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524007)

So it's not about freedom or democracy just good old Realpolitik? I don't hate the idea but why not let everyone decide individually if they want to boycott these companies? I'm sure Nokia does more business with consumers in the US than the government and Siemens could be hurt pretty bad if the moral outrage was strong enough.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Insightful)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524041)

I don't hate the idea but why not let everyone decide individually if they want to boycott these companies?

...because people are stupid.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524079)

or perhaps smarter than you, and know politics don't matter

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (0, Redundant)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524113)

But government is evil.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (5, Insightful)

EbeneezerSquid (1446685) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524203)

Individuals may boycott these companies if they wish.
The bill doesn't ban them from doing business IN the United States,
It bans them from doing WITH the United States Government.

In other words, as a unit, the Government would be boycotting these companies.

I do agree with the double-standard; however, The Chinese Communist Party has been far more accepting of gradual loosening and openness than has the Iranian Mullahs. Engagement does work, if the organization you are attempting to engage with is a rational actor.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (4, Informative)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524407)

About as stupid as these senators apparently. I mean really....

Siemens, not bidding on federal contracts?

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaahaaaaaaaaahahhaahhahahaa

uh huh mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

my side hurts now. Maybe these senators don't realize, but either directly or indirectly, you'd be hard pressed to find a federal contract that didn't support Siemens somehow. They're a $120 billion a year company making a gazillion little gadgets most senators never heard of, used in everthing from bulldozers to fire alarms.

This is all political bullshit.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524607)

<sarcasm>Gee, if only more people were like malkir, the smartest person in the world.</sarcasm>

It's none of your fucking business whether other people are too "stupid".

How about you go fuck yourself and take your socialist, big brother bullshit with you.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524043)

The Senators don't appear to be proposing a total ban on these companies, simply a ban on them bidding for government contracts. If you want to, you can still buy their products, but I don't see a problem with a government ban. I just wish it were more evenly applied so that companies selling such technology to any regime that is going to use it to violate essential liberties is blocked from bidding on government contracts.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Informative)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524129)

I think this is also because Nokia sold more than net limiting technology. Apparently they also sold devices which pick up the EMR's emitted by cell phones which allowed police to home in on any person who has a phone on their person - especially to those who are making calls/texting/transmitting data. To my knowledge such technology is not in use in China (currently).

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524149)

Maybe the Senators should be asking for a hundred billion dollar bond for Nokia to continue operating in the US at all, to be forfeited if they sell anything to Iran again.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524393)

That is bullshit [nokiasiemensnetworks.com] (forgive linking to a press release, but Nokia Siemens Networks doesn't even make equipment as described).

It looks like Nokia Siemens sold exactly the things which the USA forced them to include in their system and nothing more. Most of the legal interception requirements have been driven by the US in the first place.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524477)

I think this is also because Nokia sold more than net limiting technology. Apparently they also sold devices which pick up the EMR's emitted by cell phones which allowed police to home in on any person who has a phone on their person - especially to those who are making calls/texting/transmitting data. To my knowledge such technology is not in use in China (currently).

You are incorrect in your assumption about China. My employer sells exactly that sort of product to them.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524591)

You don't need a device made by a major corporation to do that. All you need is a basic book on radio theory - easily purchased or pirated - you've got the know how for an EMR detector.

I imagine, a simple mod to a cell phone would even work.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524143)

Yes, but they can't really be expected to apply such a policy fairly. You probably need a coalition of some sort between senators who are outraged (or respond to their constituents' outrage), those who support the policy because it helps their foreign policy agenda and those who just want to help out the competition.

So by it's very nature a consumer boycott should be more fair and tougher to dismiss.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524081)

China does not threaten to bomb israel or destabilize iraq.

None of the politicians mentioned that this economic protectionism was religious based or had anything to do with nuclear warfare. Though China is a very dangerous military threat to India and is a police threat to its own citizens.

And from the article:

Nokia Siemens said in a statement that the equipment it provided to Telecommunications Co. of Iran, the country's fixed and mobile network operator, is designed only to conduct lawful intercept of traffic by law enforcement organizations.

Unlike in America, where the government and the phone companies can monitor all traffic without legal requirements.

This hypocrisy is just people being bad and lying out loud about it.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (5, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524145)

China does not threaten to bomb israel or destabilize iraq.

So basically, this is the US trying to force foreign companies into executing the US political agenda.

Isreal in it's current form is criminal and cruel and the US did more to destabilize Iraq than Iran ever has. But of course those opinions are counter to the US world, so flag waving morons will refuse to accept them as valid.

Some senators want to punish a couple of non US companies for selling technology to a country that the US prevents it's own from selling technology to? I hope that Nokia and Siemens ignore them. It looks like another case of US selective policing, and the rest of world is sick of that shit.

I don't agree with Iranian goverment internet censorship, but not for knee jerk "they are the bad guys" reasons, because I know all to well from recent history that the USA are the badder guys. The USA has negative moral authority. Even with the new administration, you guys have a lot of work to do.

I really hope Nokia and Siemens say "shove it".

References to US and USA refer to government/politics, not necessarily you, the people.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Informative)

mehtars (655511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524337)

The US isn't forcing the foreign competition to do anything. All its saying is if they want to continue to sell to Iran, the cannot sell to the US Gov't. That is all. They can, however, continue to even do business in the USA. Iran and North Korea are still the two biggest threats-- one is controlled by a crazed manic depressive dictator, and the other by a group of theocrats hell bent on creating a nuclear weapon.

Additionally, I am not saying that it was right for the US to go into Iraq in the first place. But to continue to destabilize the region, is probably not in the best interest Iraq.

I would have to disagree with you regarding Israel. Israel is only acting in self determination after numerous incursions by Hamas, a group funded by Iran.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524471)

I would have to disagree with you regarding Israel. Israel is only acting in self determination after numerous incursions by Hamas, a group funded by Iran.

Agreed. And Hamas is only acting in self determination after numerous incursions by Israel, which is funded by the US.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524379)

So basically, this is the US trying to force foreign companies into executing the US political agenda.

In all honesty, isn't this what any form of boycott is about?

While there may be hypocrisy in the move I don't think the US government should be forced to use any business any more than the citizens should. Boycotting businesses that work outside of your ethical scope is a fantastic tool and the US government is just another consumer at this point.

It looks like another case of US selective policing, and the rest of world is sick of that shit.

And no other countries/consumers base their buying and selling of goods and services based on what other nations are friendly to them? Riiiight. If you're sick of it out of the US you should probably be sick of it in whatever country you reside. Just because your country isn't mentioned in big bold letters on Slashdot doesn't mean that they don't do it.

I don't agree with Iranian goverment internet censorship, but not for knee jerk "they are the bad guys" reasons, because I know all to well from recent history that the USA are the badder guys. The USA has negative moral authority. Even with the new administration, you guys have a lot of work to do.

Yeah, because I see the bodies of protesters lining the streets of the states. Get real. If you think they're proposing this because of internet censorship than you've had the wool pulled over your eyes.

Again, I'm not saying there isn't hypocrisy but you've missed a lot of what is going on here by letting nationalism get under your skin.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1, Flamebait)

EbeneezerSquid (1446685) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524409)

How is Israel in it's current form criminal and cruel?
Because it is a Democratic society?
Because all of it's citizens are allowed to vote?
Because all people who stayed in Israel following it's War of Independence (when it was attacked by 5 nations without provocation) were given citizenship?
Because it attempts to protect it's people when thousands of mortars and/or rockets are launched upon their homes and schools, by launching a single guided missile at the launcher/mortar site?
Because it gave up, completely and freely, land which it had held for over 40 years? This land had been intended as a "buffer zone" to help defend against a fourth attack from Egypt, but Israel-Egyptian relations had improved enough that it was (hopefully) no longer needed as such, so they kicked thousands of Israelis out of their homes and gave them to the people who had been trying to kill Israelis for generations.
Because, every once and awhile, when the Israeli people demand that something be done about the rock/mortar/suicide-bomb attacks, they send in a surgical strike force to attempt to remove the leadership of those attacking the Israeli populace?
Because it will not guarantee the "right-of-return"? (Definition: All Palestinian refugees are given full Israeli Citizenship. "Palestinian Refugee" definition: A person "whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict". UNRWA's definition of a Palestinian refugee also covers the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948[2] regardless of whether they reside in areas designated as refugee camps or in established, permanent communities. "Refugee" definition: A refugee is a person who flees to escape conflict, persecution or natural disaster.) There is no Census of Palestinian Refugees, who now include many individuals who have moved to Palestine with the intend to fight Israel. Estimated number of "Palestinian Refugees": 4.66 million. Population of Israel: 7 million.

Perhaps you are referring to the failure of the "roadmap"s? It should be noted that while Israel has consistently done much of what was required in these agreements, the Palestinian Authority has never done so.
Or maybe the occasional destruction of WMD or WMD-production capacity of various nations surrounding nations which have loudly proclaimed their indention to destroy Israel?
Help me out here.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524651)

Isreal(sic) in it's current form is criminal and cruel

Wow, is this ever false. Don't you brainwashed people ever get tired of the "Israel is the badguy" lie? All Israel wants to do is live in their land peacefully and outsiders keep insisting on trying to blow them up. I suppose, in your opinion, Israel is the enemy for wanting to defend their land?

I wonder... if a group of people were violently trying to take your home would you try to defend it? Wonder what you would feel like if you were to defend it and people kept calling you "criminal and cruel" for doing so?

and the US did more to destabilize Iraq than Iran ever has.

Oh, please, not this untruth too.

But of course those opinions are counter to the US world, so flag waving morons will refuse to accept them as valid.

They'd only be valid if they were really true. Fortunately, there not. Unfortunate for you though.

I don't agree with Iranian goverment internet censorship

Uh, huh.

because I know all to well from recent history that the USA are the badder guys.

Wow, this is comic gold! Keep practicing your humor - someday you'll be good at it!

you guys have a lot of work to do.

What "work to do"? To impress other countries? No other country cares what the USA thinks of it so why should we care what other countries think of us? You seem to think we're only here to impress you. It's all about you isn't it?

References to US and USA refer to government/politics, not necessarily you, the people.

Lol, right... right, yeah ok we really believe that. ;-)

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

lsdi (1585395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524257)

People only have what they deserve. It is very harsh, I know. But, the more attention the world give them all, more they threat to kill each other. It is time to let them do whatever they want and kill themselves.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524353)

No, but they invaded Tibet and are in the proscess of cultural genocide.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523971)

And Google and Bing and Yahoo! have all cooperated with China (and other chronic human rights abusers) by censoring their search results.

I guess the U.S. government is just going to have to fall back to using Altavista [altavista.com] for a search engine. Don't forget their motto: "Over one million pages indexed!"

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524105)

I guess the U.S. government is just going to have to fall back to using Altavista [altavista.com] for a search engine. Don't forget their motto: "Over one million pages indexed!"

No they won't. Google is an American country, so they can bid on American contracts. Only non-American companies are subject to protectionist legislation to protect the children of foreign countries.

The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28523977)

In the absence of an external interfering force (e. g., the army of the Soviet Union), the fate of a nation is determined by its people. Period.

After the Kremlin exited Eastern Europe, the peoples of each nation in Eastern Europe rapidly established a genuine democracy and a free market. Except for Romania (where its people killed their dictator), there was no violence.

In Iran (and many other failed states), no external force is imposing the current brutal government on the Iranians. The folks running the government are Iranian. The president is Iranian. The secret police are Iranian. The thugs who will torture and kill democracy advocates are Iranian.

If the democracy advocates attempt to establish a genuine democracy in Iran, violence will occur. Why? A large percentage of the population supports the brutal government and will kill the democracy advocates.

Let us not merely condemn the Iranian government. We must condemn Iranian culture. Its product is the authoritarian state.

We should not intervene in the current crisis in Iran. If the overwhelming majority of Iranians (like the overwhelming majority of Poles) truly support democracy, human rights, and peace with Israel, then a liberal Western democracy will arise -- without any violence. Right now, the overwhelming majority clearly oppose the creation of a liberal Western democracy. The Iranians love a brutal Islamic theocracy.

The Iranians created this horrible society. It is none of our business unless they attempt to develop nuclear weapons. We in the West are morally justified in destroying the nuclear-weapons facilities.

Note that, 40 years ago, Vietnam suffered a worse fate (than the Iranians) at the hands of the Americans. They doused large areas of Vietnam with agent orange, poisoning both the land and the people. Yet, the Vietnamese do not channel their energies into seeking revenge (by, e. g., building a nuclear bomb) against the West. Rather, the Vietnamese are diligently modernizing their society. They will reach 1st-world status long before the Iranians.

Cultures are different. Vietnamese culture and Iranian culture are different. The Iranians bear 100% of the blame for the existence of a tyrannical government in Iran. We should condemn Iranian culture and its people.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524045)

It's more bullshit political posturing in the name of control, conveniently hitching a ride on the coattails of an emotionally-charged 'think of the children' type issue, and it's also disgusting hypocrisy.

Who makes those sekrit black boxes connected to American Telco's fiber splices? Why aren't the telcos and the facilitators of domestic spying being condemned and sanctioned?

Maybe it would be better to outlaw (1)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524053)

Maybe it would be better to outlaw the use of this kind of technology by ALL governments. It should be perfectly legal for corporate use.

Turnabout is fair play. (0, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524075)

This is just more bullshit for the U.S. government to work around trade agreements they've signed in the past.

I warned Europeans on this board that protectionism was coming with a Northern Democrat sweep... but oh no, Obama was the man. Bet you'll miss Bush when you can't sell a bucket of screws to the USA. I'm really crying for you...

I'm by no means an Obama fan, but it's about time we had an administration that did something about it. Have you looked at the US trade deficit lately? The whole world is screwing the USA and has been for decades.

Free trade is just like socialism.. one of those ideas that seems good on paper but screws up in practice. Adam Smith, Karl Marx, you are both as wrong as you are dead!

Re:Turnabout is fair play. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524131)

Europeans already find it difficult to sell buckets of screws in the USA because of a perverse form of protectionism known as the "English" system of measurement.

Re:Turnabout is fair play. (4, Funny)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524323)

I warned Europeans on this board that protectionism was coming with a Northern Democrat sweep... but oh no

Yep - damn those Europeans for voting Obama in.

Re:Turnabout is fair play. (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524515)

Yep - damn those Europeans for voting Obama in.

IF they could have, they would have. Obama's ratings in Europe were in the 90% range, at the same time he was in Ohio talking about how he was going to undo free trade. Says a lot about how informed Europeans -really- are.

Bush may not have been the style of guy that Europe prefers, but economically, his commitment to free trade made it possible for many European economies to be export driven. Obama will begin the unwinding of that.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524161)

Cisco learned their lesson as you should recall. [slashdot.org]

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524175)

This is bull shit. Cisco sold the same type of stuff to China.

Is it really such simple hypocrisy? I know that hypocrisy is the universal language of politicians, but weren't there were hearings on the matter of Cisco selling tools of oppression to China? I recall that documents were presented at the hearings showing that those tools weren't just marketed as simple tools but specifically as a means to help the government to oppress the people.

Ah yes, just entering "cisco china hearings" net this as the top item:

http://www.hunterstrat.com/news/microsoft-cisco-snub-congress-china-hearing/ [hunterstrat.com]

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524573)

I think it's worth asking: should a corporation be held responsible for the way its products are used? You could argue that the individual is the one who should be held responsible. An individual can pick up a scalpel and use it to perform a lifesaving surgery, or slit someone's throat. The individual can take that laptop and either write poetry or hate speech. Obviously you have to have limits; I don't think any reasonable person could hold a company that makes box cutters responsible for 9/11. They had a reasonable expectation that their products would primarily be used to cut boxes, not to wage jihad. A corporation can't forsee every conceivable use of its products.

But I think that those words are the key- reasonable expectation. What if a corporation knows precisely how its products will be used? I mean, if the Iranian government makes it clear that it wants to be able to monitor and control internet content, would your company be guilty of helping to suppress democracy? Is it OK to say "we're about the bottom line, not the politics"? If so, then where do you draw the line? What if there's ethnic tension in Rwanda again, and the government calls up and says they'd like to buy a few million machetes? Would it be morally acceptable to make a tidy profit selling tools that you have a reasonable expectation will be used to hack apart other human beings? And if that sale isn't acceptable, then why is selling technology to suppress political dissent OK? I know we all have to make a living, but does the fact that you're being paid somehow make it OK?

I guess my take on things is that just because a lot of corporations help dictatorships, that doesn't make it the right thing to do. Likewise, the fact that the United States is guilty of domestic spying on a massive scale and has it's own history of suppressing democracy in Iran doesn't mean that Iran can't be criticized... although it *does* suggest that perhaps other nations, with cleaner hands, should be leading the charge here. Nobody's perfect, but that doesn't justify immoral actions- it just means we all have sins to atone for.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524177)

Now, now, be gentle to them. It might be just ignorance, living in a bubble.

They've learned about the properties of standard Nokia & Siemens telecommunications equipment from the news. They probably not even know what "Cisco" is, nevermind that it's a US company.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

CaptDeuce (84529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524391)

This is just more bullshit for the U.S. government to work around trade agreements they've signed in the past.

What trade agreements? The US was given China temporary Most Favored Trade Status 1990 and made permanent in 2001 during the Bush Administration. Conversely, the US maintains trade sanctions against Iran and does not even have diplomatic relations with Iran and has not since 1980. So I ask again, what trade agreements?

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524447)

As much as I do not like what China does in terms of censorship and human rights, you really have no idea what you are talking about.

China is a controlled export country.

Iran is an embargoed country.

Legally, there is a big difference between the two.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524491)

What I want to know is who sold the equipment that enabled the illegal warrantless wiretaps and bar THEM from EVER receiving federal contracts, they are the true threat to the American way of life.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524517)

According to the article:

Nokia Siemens said Iran uses the equipment only to monitor phone calls on the country's fixed and mobile networks. [...] the United States and European Union countries require lawful intercept capability on mobile networks.

"The restricted functionality monitoring center provided by Nokia Siemens Networks in Iran cannot provide data monitoring, Internet monitoring, deep-packet inspection, international call monitoring or speech recognition," Room wrote. "Therefore, contrary to speculation in the media, the technology supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks cannot be used for the monitoring or censorship of Internet traffic."

In other words, it would seem that the premise as suggested by the article summary "sold a sophisticated Internet-monitoring system to Iran in 2008" is in error.

Re:Because Cisco would never do such a thing (2, Insightful)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524631)

Is it a coincidence that we're talking about a European conglomerate? Would they dare to propose something similar if Cisco was found to be selling such stuff?

I can sell you mustard ingredients to use it on your sausages. You shouldn't blame me if you gas your kids with it though....

Screw technology ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28523853)

Hey, let's not forget which country ARMED a bunch of our now-enemies - that would be U.S.

Just sayin' ...

Re:Screw technology ... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523933)

Most of our current presumed enemies were either armed by the Soviets and Chinese (North Korea), or developed their own military industries by initially illegally copying from the Soviets and/or the US (China, Iran). Venezuela is modernizing using largely Russian technology, and has been trying to figure out how to get rid of its F-16s to US enemies without violating transfer agreements. Most of the rest (primarily terrorist or insurgent groups) use weapons that are either stolen from wherever they can find them, or produced in knock-off machine shops (AKs, RPGs, and Katyushas).

Selling to the NSA is good but Iran is bad (4, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523857)

Unless you're in Iran in which case it's the other way around. Or since neither of these companies are US based companies do we have to decide if the EU likes the US today before they can negotiate contracts?

The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524497)

In the absence of an external interfering force (e. g., the army of the Soviet Union), the fate of a nation is determined by its people. Period.

After the Kremlin exited Eastern Europe, the peoples of each nation in Eastern Europe rapidly established a genuine democracy and a free market. Except for Romania (where its people killed their dictator), there was no violence.

In Iran (and many other failed states), no external force is imposing the current brutal government on the Iranians. The folks running the government are Iranian. The president is Iranian. The secret police are Iranian. The thugs who will torture and kill democracy advocates are Iranian.

If the democracy advocates attempt to establish a genuine democracy in Iran, violence will occur. Why? A large percentage of the population supports the brutal government and will kill the democracy advocates.

Let us not merely condemn the Iranian government. We must condemn Iranian culture. Its product is the authoritarian state.

We should not intervene in the current crisis in Iran. If the overwhelming majority of Iranians (like the overwhelming majority of Poles) truly support democracy, human rights, and peace with Israel, then a liberal Western democracy will arise -- without any violence. Right now, the overwhelming majority clearly oppose the creation of a liberal Western democracy. The Iranians love a brutal Islamic theocracy.

The Iranians created this horrible society. It is none of our business unless they attempt to develop nuclear weapons. We in the West are morally justified in destroying the nuclear-weapons facilities.

Note that, 40 years ago, Vietnam suffered a worse fate (than the Iranians) at the hands of the Americans. They doused large areas of Vietnam with agent orange, poisoning both the land and the people. Yet, the Vietnamese do not channel their energies into seeking revenge (by, e. g., building a nuclear bomb) against the West. Rather, the Vietnamese are diligently modernizing their society. They will reach 1st-world status long before the Iranians.

Cultures are different. Vietnamese culture and Iranian culture are different. The Iranians bear 100% of the blame for the existence of a tyrannical government in Iran. We should condemn Iranian culture and the Iranian people.

Yes that makes sense (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523861)

Internet monitoring equipment should only be allowed to be sold in "free" countries, like the US... er...

Re:Yes that makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524333)

Exactly. Those two-faced motherfuckers sure don't complain when snooping gear and software is sold to them to spy on us.

fucking hacks, both of them (5, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523869)

Where's the blockage of federal contracts to AT&T for spying on American citizens? U.S. officials have a complete lack of self-awareness [salon.com] on issues like spying, detention & torture:

"I have more than two hours of video footage showing Sheikh Issa's involvement in the torture of more than 25 people," wrote Texas-based lawyer Anthony Buzbee in a letter obtained by the Observer.

The news of more torture videos involving Issa is another huge blow to the international image of the UAE . . . . The fresh revelations about Issa's actions will add further doubt to a pending nuclear energy deal between the UAE and the US. The deal, signed in the final days of George W Bush, is seen as vital for the UAE. It will see the US share nuclear energy expertise, fuel and technology in return for a promise to abide by non-proliferation agreements. But the deal needs to be recertified by the Obama administration and there is growing outrage in America over the tapes. Congressman James McGovern, a senior Democrat, has demanded that Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, investigate the matter and find out why US officials initially appeared to play down its significance.

It's only fascist when they do it (5, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523873)

It's the same equipment they sell to the US, UK and others [nokiasiemensnetworks.com] , and they're in compliance with UN and EU regulations. Why is it suddenly evil and deserving of punishment when another government decides to use it?

Re:It's only fascist when they do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524009)

Because the American Government didnt think of it first?

Re:It's only fascist when they do it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524261)

Maybe it has something to do with the US not killing protesters? Answer to that one, bitch.

Re:It's only fascist when they do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524295)

Yeah. News of this would certainly spread like wildfire on the Internet. Unless the government had some way of stopping it.

That's awfully EU of you, Americanski (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28523881)

Just like the Europeans, think they can tell countries what to do, and when. Well, FUCK YOU, I say, FUCK YOU !!

free markets a bitch aint it? (2, Insightful)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523897)

the hypocrisy boggles the mind

Better to let them communicate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28523899)

Well, isn't it better to let the citizens there to communicate in the first place? There wouldn't have been organised rallies of this magnitude if they hadn't bought Evil NokiaSiemens network equipment.

Like the Nokia rep said, if you sell communications gear you automatically also sell an ability to intercept and monitor.

Wow... (1)

danking (1201931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523903)

This is damn hypocritical.

meanwhile (2, Funny)

uepuejq (1095319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523923)

at&t has now recompounded with cingular to form voltron

Well.. (1, Funny)

diewlasing (1126425) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523931)

...I'm glad to see Republicans standing up the tyranny of the increasingly repressive American Gov...wait....

---

I guarantee you these are the same people who want to restrict freedom of information to protect the children here in the USA.

The inconsistency is a good one. (1)

evil_arrival_of_good (786412) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523981)

Sold too USA good, sold to Iran bad is a good inconsistency because of another level: Iran is an unpopular theocracy using the technology to sustain their reign. Even factoring in the likely illegitimacy of G W Bush's reign, the rulership in the USA has never been as sustained/entrenched unpopular regime as that of Iran. It is Apples and Oranges, and one should not get the technology.

Re:The inconsistency is a good one. (1)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524435)

Yes, but who watches the watchers?

Banning Open Source. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28523989)

"According to Nextgov.com, Schumer and Graham's bill would require the Obama administration to identify foreign companies that export sensitive technology to Iran and ban them from bidding on federal contracts, or renew expiring ones, unless they first stop exports to Iran."

We're banning Red Hat, why?

Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (4, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28523993)

As far as I'm concerned, multinational corporations deserve this and have done so for a long time.

They are crying foul that by selling the tools of oppression to one government, they jeopardize their chances to sell their wares to another.

That's not hypocrisy on behalf of the governments. That's just politics.

And they do have a choice to avoid this - by staying out of that market.

No one forced them to sell systems to allow oppressive regimes to track and crack down on dissidents. They came up with that product all by themselves. And they most certainly would have been aware of what their product was going to be used for.

If all they sold was phones and phone systems, they wouldn't be in this mess, so I really don't see a problem with the US Government deciding that if Nokia supports it's political enemies, that it shouldn't benefit from US government contracts.

Corporate pariahs's deserve to be treated as such.

I don't like what the US government is doing itself in the area of human rights abuse, but I have to admit that I support it on this matter.

GrpA

Re:Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524077)

What about selling to non-oppressive regimes? These systems, and similar ones by Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Narus [wikipedia.org] and others are in widespread use throughout the U.S., Europe and the rest of the "free world".

Been there, installed that.

Hell, I know of one system that uses a MySQL database to store the warrant and tap info. The interface is an Apache module. The front end is rather ugly closed source GUI written in Israel which sends the info via an HTTPS POST.

Narus' key products were based on Snort and Wireshark, just on custom super-computer class hardware.

Gotta love FOSS. With all the hacking tools available for Linux/BSD, including source code, who needs custom code?

Re:Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524265)

Doesn't the blade cut both ways? OpenSSH? OpenSSL? GnuPG/PGP?

Re:Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524625)

Not really. These tools are designed to ensure privacy and you'd be hard pressed to find a use for them to "suppress" a people.

There are a lot of tools designed to test -- and break -- security. They have tons of valid uses. The idea that countries like Iran, Burma and China can't get their hands on the same tools the U.S. and Western nations use for "legitimate law enforcement" simply because Congress says "don't sell to the bad guys" is laughable. It assumes no nation in the world is going to resell the tech. It also assumes that the "evil" nations are populated solely by idiots, who will never come up with any tools like this themselves. A quick looks at all the Chinese names on math and science papers lately will put that to rest.

My argument was the definition of "oppressive regime". Britain's surveillance society; the U.S.'s suspension of habeas corpus, no-knock warrants and warrantless wiretapping; and the German data retention and "hacking" laws make it hard to tell where to draw the line. And no matter where it is drawn, governments and their employees find a way to dance back and forth over it at will.

Re:Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524135)

Actually, they do have to provide this technology if they want to sell mobile phone network equipment at all. There's a mandatory "lawful intercept" capability that you have to implement if you want to get the gear licensed. That goes for US, UK and EU as well as "axis of evil" countries.

Re:Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (1)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524355)

Yes, and I'm well aware of this requirement, more than most people.

However it's one thing to meet this requirement within the required laws of the host country and another thing entirely to provide and market software and devices that actively enhance human rights abuse through these laws.

The latter might be something the "client" government desires, but that doesn't excuse the actions of the corporations who chase this business through provision of such systems.

If Nokia and others persist in creating Brazen Bulls [wikipedia.org] then perhaps it is only fitting that they too receive the same reward as did Perillos.

I don't have much sympathy for them.

GrpA

Re:Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (1)

KTheorem (999253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524165)

It's a bit like my boycott of stores that I know openly supported Prop 8 only on a governmental scale. Nokia et al. made deals that the US government thought were counter to it's own interests and goals and so it is finding itself in the position of the US government boycotting them.

Re:Don't be so quick to defend the corporations. (1)

japa (28571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524523)

I don't like what the US government is doing itself in the area of human rights abuse, but I have to admit that I support it on this matter.

GrpA

The US government would have more credibility if they'd start with US companies and then go after the international ones. Or at least target both at the same time. And besides there are many countries with questionable record in human rights. One of the lesser known, but incredible bizarre is Turkmenistan, a mall country with lots of oil & gas. The previous leader came up with Ruhnama [wikipedia.org] , which is an absurd government propaganda book disguised as mandatory religion. Foreign companies get advantage in Turkmenistan if they translate the book to their language and Turkmenistan gets another propaganda victory. The US version was translated by John Deere (the tractor company). There are other big US companies in Turkmenistan, againt the companies' own ethical rules.
Have a look at a documentary 'Shadow of the holy book' [shadowoftheholybook.com] .

The whole thing is so unreal that it's absurd..

Ps. Yes, you can find Siemens also from Turkmenistan...

Political opportunism (1)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524015)

Political opportunism by Graham, and naivete by Schumer. Both companies are in compliance with international law. How can you punish a company when you never even told them it was wrong to begin with? The hardware and software in question is usually marketed for corporate use, where they have every right to use it. Maybe it would be better to outlaw the use of such software by governments?

Maybe a good internal but not international agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524057)

You can't choose to act as credible open-market proponent AND choose legally codify preferential selection on basis of political opinions when your own companies have actual competition.

Of course US and its politicians are not the only country doing this kind of idiotic double talk, but it's one of the very few big that don't seem to get seriously injured in international politics and open markets by consistently pushing others to accept their own internal idiocies.

Re:Maybe a good internal but not international age (0, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524089)

I'm not sure why anyone is allowed to export hammers and nails to Iran, let alone cell phone equipment. I'd ban all trade with country, and pass a law making it a criminal offense to sell even indirectly anything to them, with crippling fines that would put even a company like IBM out of business.

Let the Butchers of Qom develop their own surveillance equipment.

Re:Maybe a good internal but not international age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524179)

Just look how much well kinds of tactics have worked against North Korea and Cuba. These strategies have intended effects only against countries that are really already free enough not to be hard-handed anyway. On those where citizens' freedoms are insufficient, they just cause more trouble to everybody except the leaders.

And, no matter how hard it might be to accept, opinions of US government, mainly driven by domestic power struggle interests, are not unanimous international opinion. In this case it might not be pretty, but still - it's hard to sell this kind of trade treaty exceptions for instance to EU when the primary reason is obviously local company lobbying of opportunistic local politicians.

Re:Maybe a good internal but not international age (1)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524461)

Taking away basic necessities will be the right punishment for the villainous common people of Iran for democratically deciding to deny themselves basic human ri-... wait, wha-?

Re:Maybe a good internal but not international age (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524649)

You know, it wasn't tanks and bombers that brought down the Iron Curtain. It was blue jeans and rock'n'roll. Western consumer society may be easy to sneer at, but in the long run it's proven to be one of the most powerful forces for liberalization the world has ever known.

As a practical matter, if we try to cut off exports to Iran, I guaran-goddamn-tee you the Iranian government will still get its hands on all the goodies it needs, but the Iranian people will be SOL, and any chance they have of freeing themselves (how exactly do you think we heard about the election fraud, anyway?) will vanish forever.

Makes sense to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524083)

Iran is our enemy, so we're going to give a hard time to businesses that give nice things to Iran.

Oh I see (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524139)

Speaking up in favor of protestors is seen as meddling but sending out a strong signal that if you sell anything hi tech to Iran your stuff will be shunned by the U.S. will have no impact whatsoever.

The horse may have left the barn, but if we nuke the barn from orbit we can be sure no future horses will even be born. Or something like that.

Godwin's Law (3, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524151)

IBM, allegedly, collaborated with the Nazis.

Corporations making a quick buck through trading with 'the enemy' is nothing new.

Re:Godwin's Law (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524481)

So did Siemens [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Godwin's Law (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524605)

Ford as well.

Re:Godwin's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524611)

IBM, allegedly, collaborated with the Nazis.

Corporations making a quick buck through trading with 'the enemy' is nothing new.

Yawn. Nationalized corporations cooperating with the government?! What a shocker. Get over it.

Instead of whining about this (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524187)

Let's do something useful. Fire up a proxy and get it into the queue. Start up a TOR node. Get to work on WAP firmware that enables a wireless mesh network. If you know somebody in-country, buy up a bunch of Micro-SD cards in decent capacities and mail them in, stuffed with downloaded videos of protests so that in case they don't have them they can share them around. Even in the absence of networking, microSD cards are a discreet way to distribute large amounts of information. If you receive mail from somebody in-country, check the package thoroughly for concealed data cards and publish what you find.

Pointless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524189)

They'll just spin off a division to handle it instead.

And its not like they probably haven't sold same equipment to US government...

Uncompetitive Country (2, Informative)

lsdi (1585395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524197)

Those actions turn the US into a less competitive country and will not stop people from having cell phones, software, etc wherever they live. I don't think Nokia cares very much about federal contracts right now.

and in Germany? (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524235)

So, now that we here in Germany have introduced Internet censorship (via the crazy Zensursula von der Leyen law, your choice whether "crazy" applies to the law or the person) - will the US senators punish the companies that supply the infrastructure for that as well?

Oh wait, Germany isn't a "rogue country", right? We don't go by facts, we go by political climate, don't we?

I'm looking forward to an embargo...

Ok (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524253)

It wouldn't hurt my feelings to punish companies that sell products that are specifically designed to oppress nations, but we also need to punish American companies that do that. Including censoring information, and disclosing information to help those regimes violate rights.

Two choices (2)

mellestad (1301507) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524285)

America needs to decide a)Iran is a horrible regime and should be treated as such, which included cutting off any business or country that profits by selling to it, or b) leave them alone. This is all wishy-washy jerking off after the fact. None of this tech is classified or sensitive, so you can't say they were selling them weapons grade material or something. You can't punish a corporation after the fact when the did not break a single international law. These spineless half measures reek of hypocrisy.

Re:Two choices (1)

lsdi (1585395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524315)

I think the world should let them alone, along with Israel, North Korea, etc. The more attention they get, more they want. They will change their minds after 3 days of nuking each other.

"Four feet good! Two feet bad!" (Animal Farm) (2, Interesting)

fluch (126140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524373)

As far as I have heard Nokia and Siemens did just sell the same technology they are forced by the "good countries" to implement already for years. So what is the problem?!

Power to the people! (2)

DJ DeFi (1344863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524381)

..Shit.

The filtering/logging might not exist... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524417)

If it weren't for CALEA: http://www.fcc.gov/calea/. Nokia/Siemens might have said "no, it's to costly to implement something like this so you can take it or leave it." Instead the system was already in place, tested, and working and sat right on top of their existing offerings as dictated BY YOU.

        I'm certainly not condoning companies from doing business of this sort *coughCiscocough*, but the hypocrisy makes me sick. Why don't go after other counties that do something similar to what Iran is doing and go after the companies that built those networks. Oh wait, because that's EVERYBODY.

        These guys are such douchebags and don't even understand the consequences of their actions could be. The fact is that sure, Iran could have been sold this equipment without the filtering or logging, but would they have bought it knowing they had 0 control over it? Doubtful. Because there's 1 fact about the internet that held true time and time again, as long as the wire isn't cut you cannot stop it. By having companies like Cisco or Nokia/Siemens doing the installs, the free world automatically gets a leg up on the situation because we know exactly how they work and can help those that want a free voice get around it. The engineers that even built the systems are on our side, they know what's going on and while they do not condone it, the end game is that if people are given the ability, they will find a way.

        The alternative is these countries doing a few things. First no internet, nobody would have access. Not even filtered access. This doesn't help anyone. They would become completely and totally cut off from everybody except for whatever their state "media" spews out. Or the other possibility is that they would have had their own in house guys do it. If it were something that they absolutely needed, and they needed to have total control over it, they would have had their own engineers design the equipment and software to implement their cell/internet network. This would have a couple issues, firstly being they could break it for the rest of us, see the Pakistan/Youtube incident. Another issue that would exist, is that their engineers would have likely seen the issues with the current implementation and improved upon it by providing a far more intrusive filtering/logging that would ultimately cause the deaths of many many more people.

        I do not like it anymore than the rest of you, but the fact is, is that as long as there exist a means in which one can voice their own opinion freely they will find a way. What we saw from Iran is the people finding that way. Had Iran not had the means, it wouldn't have happened at all. It's like the Tiananmen/Google thing that comes up every so often. Does it make Google evil to filter it? Maybe. But the alternative is not having Google in China. You know what you can find on Google in China? A way to bypass the Great Firewall.

biznat3h (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28524551)

live and 4 job to *BSD but FreeBSD distribution make 5urvive at all

Heaven forbid (4, Informative)

kalpaha (667921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28524589)

How dare they sell equipment to implement legally required (and specified by ETSI and 3GPP standards) capabilies for the mobile networks: http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/global/Press/Press+releases/news-archive/Provision+of+Lawful+Intercept+capability+in+Iran.htm [nokiasiemensnetworks.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>