Jailed Journalist Sues Telecoms Company for Supplying Wiretap Tech

One journalist is attempting to take on Nokia Siemens Networks, after being jailed for a year due to an inflammatory article he wrote. What's Nokia Siemens got to do with it? They provided the spying equipment used to find him.

Iranian journalist Isa Saharkhiz has been tortured with his ribs broken and held in solitary confinement, but instead of taking it out against the keepers of the key to his cell, he's taking on the might of the telecoms company, which supplies the Ministry of Intelligence and Security with devices that monitor cellphones—and helped track him down, leading to his arrest.

Nokia Siemens Networks claims they didn't provide Iran with the technology used to track Saharkhiz, who is still in jail, telling CNN that "The Saharkhizes allege brutal treatment by the government in Iran, but they have not sued that government. Instead, they are seeking to blame Nokia Siemens Networks for the acts of the Iranian authorities by filing a lawsuit in the U.S., a country that has absolutely no connection to the issue they are raising."

Nokia Siemens Networks confirmed to the Guardian newspaper that it sold its Lawful Interception Management System monitoring set-up to Iran in 2008, but is shying from Saharkhiz's claims that the technology should not have been sold to the country when it's been proven to use it in such cases as his, to the detriment of human rights.

While Saharkhiz is still in jail awaiting his verdict, NSN claims it's stopped supporting the LIMS system in Iran, with ZTE Corporation and Huawei both allegedly offering technical support. Both these Chinese companies manufacture products under other companies' names, and their own names, such as Android phones and internet dongles. You might also remember that they were rumored to be buying out Palm earlier in the year. [The Register, The Guardian and CNN]

Image Credit: Nizger