AFP: Finnish-German telecom equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) said Monday technology it sold to Iran in 2008 could be used to monitor calls, but denied claims it can be used for web censorship.
HELSINKI (AFP) — Finnish-German telecom equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) said Monday technology it sold to Iran in 2008 could be used to monitor calls, but denied claims it can be used for web censorship.
A petition calling for a boycott against Nokia has begun circulating over the Internet, claiming the technology had helped Iran to monitor mobile phones and read emails during the recent post-election protests.
At least 17 people have been killed in Iran in unrest that rocked the country after the landslide victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June 12 presidential election, with the opposition claiming massive fraud.
"There is a lot of misinformation out there," NSN spokesman Ben Roome said, pointing out that NSN is a separate organisation from Nokia.
He explained that NSN had delivered a network expansion with voice call monitoring centre to Iranian telecommunication operator TCI in the second half of 2008.
"Voice call monitoring is required by the courts to listen to phone calls coming from a particular phone number, the telecommunication systems have an ability to do that," Roome said.
He added that the standard for call monitoring was set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and available in many other countries as well.
The technology "we provide in Iran allows millions of Iranians to communicate every day," Roome noted.
A spokeswoman for the world's biggest mobile phone maker Nokia said the company had received some feedback relating to NSN delivery in Iran.
"We have received some (feedback), but not on a large scale. To those who have contacted us we have told our opinion and our position in this," Arja Suominen said.