back to article US senators demand boycott of Iran 'snoop' firms

Two US senators are calling for a boycott of European firms they say are helping the Iranian government snoop on its citizens. That will be Nokia Siemens Networks, we assume, which has already confessed it sold technology to Iran conforming to 3GPP and ETSI standards which require mobile networks have a lawful intercept …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double standards again...

    Nokia can't help to snoop on Iranian people, but when AT&T does it in the US, they get retroactive immunity.

    Not even mentioning Google and China censorship.

    Talk about double standards. Not that it's really surprising. But outrageous nevertheless.

  2. Efros
    Big Brother

    Restrict the sale

    to only us and our friends, which are not the same ones as we profess in public.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Yet again Pot Kettle Black

    And what about US companies bowing to Chinese whims?


  4. Anonymous Coward


    So long as they first get rid of inspections they carry out on US nationals inside America, otherwise they are hypocrites. Lets not forget China as well.

  5. Andrew Penfold

    Pot, Kettle, Black

    Two words: Retroactive. Immunity.

    Put your own house in order first.

  6. Cameron Colley


    They're allowed to spy on their own people, block and trace what they see on the internet and illegally detain foreign nationals but nobody else is?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    US firms not listed because...

    Presumably they're assumed to already be in compliance with the nightmarish forests of US trade compliance laws, ITAR regs., etc. When my employer was taken over by a US corp, we had to drop several Iranian customers, literally at a couple of hours' notice. "FAIL" because that's what US trade regs are all about...

  8. Graham Marsden


    ... or should that be "Senatards"?

  9. Michael


    Just shows how incompetent politicians can be. They can't even hire someone to explain to them which company is involved.

    Why not America firms? Simple, that would reduce revenue for American firms who aren't competitive on a global scale. Same protectionist shite that America constantly tries to utilise to maximise profits at home whilst making others open their markets to American firms.

    Lets be sensible about this. The technology that was shipped is complying to international standards. Are the Americans now suggesting one mobile network for them and a different one for everyone else? Oh wait.....

  10. Anonymous Coward

    why US firms are not also being identified

    > We're not sure why US firms are not also being identified.

    My understanding is that US firms can't sell to Iran anyway - or not without prior government approval.

    So either there are no bad US firms because they didn't get approval, OR the bad US firms had US government approval and punishing them would make the US government look bad.

  11. Number6
    Black Helicopters

    Pot, Kettle, etc.

    What about all the US firms that cooperate with authorities to install eavesdropping facilities in their products? Anyone remember the alleged NSA backdoor in Windows? Probably any telco or manufacturer of equipment for same?

  12. Cthonus

    Bullish behaviour

    Reminds me of one redneck senator/congressman interviewed on British TV at the start of the Iraq conflict saying France wasn't a proper country because it didn't have any aircraft carriers.

    The interviewer then pointed out that, actually, the French had more than the UK did but this shot across the bows didn't seem to make a difference to the argument.

  13. Mark W 2

    US companies can't export anything to Iran

    Honestly. Don't you ever check with the US Department of Commerce's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to see if a country is sanctioned?

    Don't know why this doesn't apply to US companies, indeed - wasn't like this when I was lad, real reporting, dontcha know, etc etc...

  14. Steve Foster
    Big Brother

    "We're not sure why US firms are not also being identified."

    Really? Surely you know how this works by now. US Senators routinely propose legislation to benefit US firms at the expense of everyone else.

    And of course, US government snooping on US citizens using US equipment is perfectly fine. In fact, if the Iranian government snooping was done with US equipment, that would likely be dandy too.

    George, for obvious reasons.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Wouldn't have anything to do with protectionism by any chance ?

  16. Matthew Ellen


    I think we should boycott all countries whose ruling bodies talk before they understand what they are saying.

  17. imposter
    Thumb Down

    Seems odd

    Because spying on people is standard protocol throughout the western world

  18. Rod MacLean


    "In the UK Ian Lucas, minister of state at the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation said he was unable to say whether or not the UK exported equipment which could be used to spy on Iranian citizens"

    We obviously don't keep track of the sales of binoculars and telescopes.

  19. AchimR
    Paris Hilton

    Now if that is...

    ...not typical US-American, then I don't know what is.

    Paris, because even she can't help it having such Senators

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Terry Childs

    is this like the case of Terry Childs, being punished for doing something how it is meant to be done?

  21. Mark W 2

    Good grief - I got it wrong and I'm supposed to know about this for my company

    It's the US Dept. of the Treasury OFAC. The Dept of Commerce has the BIS (Bureau of Industry and Security). OFAC handle sanctions programs (can't trade anything) and BIS handles trade export restrictions (some things can be exported no problem, some things can't. But if they can't there might be a license exception, or you might be able to apply for an export license. Unless the OFAC has decided to do something without telling anyone else. Or the US Customs and Border Protection has decided to prosecute someone and the conviction sets a precident for applying existing law).

    Try reading the whole of the sanctions overview I posted the link to and see how your brain feels after that! (please stop my job, I want to get off).

  22. Anna Logg

    a point of order ...

    >>they refer to "Nokia and Siemens" - while it was Nokia Siemens Networks which provided >>mobile kit to Iran. NSN is an entirely separate firm.

    Not really 'entirely separate' - wholly owned by Nokia and Siemens between them IIRC, NSN financials are reported via Nokia.

  23. Scott Herter
    Black Helicopters


    Um, then there won't be any country or company I can buy things from...

  24. Lionel Baden


    so you plan on boycotting the UK !! ???

  25. James Micallef Silver badge

    HYPOCRITE!! So its perfectly fine for the US to spy on its own citizens, but Allah forbid Iran should do so.

    By the way, does it occur to any of these high-and mighty US "democracy-exporters" that Iran had a functioning democracy before the US fomented a revolution there via the CIA and installed the Shah, who was a dictator-puppet?

    The truth is that the US elites are only interested in democracy if those democracies will toe their line (Iraq being only the most recent example, the latest round of oil contracts is proving correct all those who said the Iraq 2 war was all about oil). If there's the slightest chance that the people of a country will be anti-American (eg Saudi Arabia) they are perfectly happy dealing with dictators with zero human rights credentials

  26. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Better idea

    Let's pass a law to make arrogant brainless demagogic twats illegal.

  27. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    OMG. International telecomms standards incorporate lawful interception options

    And telecomms hardware suppliers *incorporate* this in their equipment.

    Some of which is sold to (and used by) people with odd ideas about government and the powers of the state.

    Who knew?

  28. Cortland Richmond

    US firms not identified

    Because they aren't allowed to sell to Iran at all.

  29. Matthew Ellen
    Thumb Up

    @Lionel Baden

    I will be building a rocket to the moon in my garden for the foreseeable future.

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