Telecom giant Nokia has spiffy slogan: “Connecting People.” But a new report reveals that Nokia may be helping connect the wrong people: Iranian security agents and grassroots dissidents. It seems Nokia has helped Iran install electronic surveillance equipment to intercept text messages, emails, and more. Several activists appear to have been jailed thanks to Nokia’s technology.
Last year, Nokia provided the state-owned Irantelecom with a “monitoring center,” which enables the regime to tap phones, read e-mails, and watch over all kinds of electronic data transmission. Designed to help stop crime and terror, the new surveillance system appears to have enhanced the regime’s ability to crack down on dissent. Last month, twelve women’s rights activists were arrested at a private meeting that security forces likely learned about through intercepts. Another arrested dissident was recently confronted by interrogators with transcripts of his text messaging.