Telecom giant Nokia Siemens Networks has in the past supplied surveillance technology to the Iranian government. An American campaign called “No to Nokia” has tried bringing it to book, calling for an end to all sales, support and services within Ahmadinejad’s repressive state.
Nokia Siemens owned up to selling services which act to exploit “lawful intercept” on Iranian mobile networks through the “Intelligence Solutions” business, Trovicor, which it integrated in 2007. Under heavy fire from the press and facing inquiries from the European Parliament over complicity in human rights abuses, Nokia sold Trovicor onto holding company Perusa Partners Fund in March last year. Trovicor still provides what No to Nokia says is the “same service Nokia once did”.
Trovicor’s website says it is “making the world a safer place” and a “provider of turnkey end-to-end interception solutions.” A solution demands a problem and one of Iran’s is its dissidents, including jailed journalist and activist Isa Saharkhiz who was openly critical of the regime. Together, Nokia and Trovicor ensured he was intercepted and arrested.
Nokia Siemens vehemently denies any further links with the Iranian government since selling Trovicor. “We deplore such use of a technology that can bring so many positive benefits to society,” it told the European Parliament. But it maintains “technical contractual links”.
When Forbes hack Andy Greenberg asked Ben Roome, head of media relations at Nokia, about these he said all Nokia does is refer former customers to Trovicor.
But who is Trovicor’s CEO? It’s… former head of worldwide sales and customer care for Nokia Siemens, Johann Preinsberger.
*EyeSee When asked to confirm Preinsberger’s position at Trovicor, a Munich spokesperson for the company told us that our query will be answered ASAP. Eventually we were told, by Birgitt Fischer-Harrow: “Please understand that it is part of our company policy that we are not publicly discussing our internal management strucuture [sic].”
Talking to friends at No to Nokia, we noticed that Johann Preinsberger’s name had been removed as managing director from the Trovicor website, just a day after No to Nokia approached the press.
Meanwhile, a friendly spokesperson at Trovicor’s Prague offices laughed down the phone and promptly hung up on us.
Trovicor’s offices are still directly opposite Nokia Siemens Networks’ in Munich, on the same street.