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Monday, November 07, 2011

British company with ties to Hague accused of selling phone tracking software to Iran

A British company with ties to Foreign Secretary William Hague is being accused of selling phone tracking software to Iran shortly after the 2009 elections.
The Telegraph writes that Creativity Software signed a contract two years ago to "provide lawful intercept solutions" to Iran, and alleges that this software could have been used to track protesters.

The deal was signed with one of the biggest mobile phone networks in Iran, Irancell, on 1 August 2009. An Iranian journalist, Saeid Pourheydar, says that the technology was used to track down protesters, even when they were not using their phones. He adds that he was "presented with his 'entire phone history' when he was arrested".

The newspaper report adds that a major shareholder in Creativity Software is a company called MMC Ventures; and both the CEO and chairman of this outfit contributed towards William Hague's private office.

However, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills told the newspaper that the software was not covered by export controls and therefore Creativity Software has done nothing wrong. A spokesman said: "The Government actively discourages all trade with Iran. We take any reports of exports being misused overseas seriously. It does not appear that the exporter has broken the law."
I must be missing something here. Does the government discourage all trade with Iran or only 'illegal' trade with Iran? There's far too much trade with Iran that is legal. But what's more important: A few schillings or the future of western civilization?

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