NSN Has a Bad Day
But what's suddenly made the company famous is censorship in Iran.
A recent Wall Street Journal article quoted NSN spokesman Ben Roome saying his company's gear was part of a monitoring center "installed within the government's telecom monopoly" as part of a larger mobile-networking contract. The story connected that statement with the use of Deep Packet Inspection for "controlling and censoring the Internet."
Now, Nokia put out a release yesterday saying it has not provided DPI gear for networks in Iran: "Nokia Siemens Networks has not provided any deep packet inspection, web censorship or Internet filtering capability to Iran," the statement reads. (See NSN Denies Selling DPI to Iran.)
That's not going to stop the outcry, though. Roome's reposting of the press release on a corporate blog prompted lots of angry comments -- the kind with lots of exclamation points -- that talk about boycotting Nokia and Siemens products.
And, not that Twitter is the lone gauge of public opinion, but for most of the day, the stream of postings linking to the Journal story (or other blogs and articles that quote it) well outnumbered the postings about the Nortel deal.
What Nokia Siemens says it did sell into Iran was lawful intercept capability for voice calls on fixed and mobile networks, the press release states. Such a capability is legally required in many countries, including the United States.
The BBC released a more complete report that includes that explanation. But that's getting some virtual stones thrown at Nokia Siemens as well; at this writing, some people are linking to the BBC on Twitter and, again, are calling for Nokia and/or Siemens boycotts.
NSN, by the way, no longer sells the monitoring gear being used in Iran; that division got sold to a German investment firm in March.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading