Ericsson criticized for business in Iran

Politics | 2011-10-31 | 2 comments
The news agency Bloomberg has made a comprehensive study which shows that equipment from the Swedish telecommunication company Ericsson is used by the Iranian regime to keep control of people from the opposition. This reports the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

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Between 2009 and today, the period which Bloomberg has went through, Ericsson and the British company Creative Software Ltd have both sold equipment used for surveillance to Iran. Bloomberg has gone through documents and made interviews with people involved in this trade.

Ericsson claims, according to DN, that the document Bloomberg has seen were part of plans that were never implemented. "What we have delivered is a system for Location Based Charging, a system which makes it possible for the operator to see approximately where the customer is when the cell phone is used, this in order to be able to charge the right amount on the bill", said Fredrik Hallstan, press officer at Ericsson, to DN. Hallstan claims there were no gps function in the sold equipment.

"When the political unrest were intensified in 2009, we got a more restrictive approach towards doing business with Iran. And finally, in December 2010, we decided to not make any new deals" said Hallstan to DN

They will however continue to maintain some systems that they have already sold, as part of existing contracts.

The international PEN club has said that they will watch companies which do business with dictatorships extra carefully in the near future.

Last year, the famous Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Shirin Ebadi mentioned Ericsson’s business in Iran during a speech at Stockholm University.

Link to the Bloomberg article

Readers' comments

2011-11-01 14:36 Nora wrote:
However, there are certain telcom products that are designed only for sniffing and spying over the mobile contacts. This case is not like a knife example of yours. BUT one can argue that the use of these devices are authorized for security porpuses in western countries while they could be used as a tool to suppress the opposition in countries like iran.
2011-11-01 04:17 M. Jack wrote:
Telecom products are the same as any other products such as knifes which can be used to tourture people or can be used to make food for the. The measurement should me by the amount of both benefits and harm to decide if it should be delivered or not

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