Western companies help Tehran spy on protestors

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By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Numerous celebratory articles have appeared recently in several blogs that praise Western Internet firms for “help[ing] out the pro-democracy movement inside [Iran]”. These articles overlook Tehran’s extremely powerful Internet and telephone spying capabilities, which experts describe as “one of the world’s most sophisticated mechanisms”. Moreover, as intelNews reported last April, the Iranian government acquired these mechanisms with the help of some of Europe’s leading telecommunications hardware and software manufacturers, who were all too happy to supply Tehran with advanced means to spy on its own people. According to a new exposé by The Wall Street Journal, the Iranian government’s telecommunications monitoring and interception capabilities allow it to “examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale” and go “well beyond” the standard tactic of blocking user access to specific Internet sites. According to several insiders, Iran appears to be engaging in “deep packet inspection”, which enables the country’s internal security agencies “to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes”. What is more, these remarkable capabilities were afforded to Iran Telecom –Iran’s government-owned telecommunications provider– by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), a lucrative engineering partnership between Finland’s Nokia Corporation and German hardware manufacturer Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering firm. Remarkably, as intelNews has noted before, the NSN sale of surveillance hardware to Iran appears to be perfectly legal, as there are “virtually no restrictions on the export [to Iran] of high-tech equipment [by Western firms] that can be used to monitor or control free expression”. So much for Western assistance to the Iranian reform movement.

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to Western companies help Tehran spy on protestors

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow! This has got to be capitalism at its best. The only thing better would be if Western countries could also convince the Iranian people to invest in Western stock markets and listen to Western media for their news…oh, wait. They already beat me to it.

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