The news has been full this week with stories of what is going on in Iran, and more specifically with how technology is helping protesters get their message out. Without Twitter and its ilk, the story goes, no one would know what was really happening under the boot of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Unfortunately, the protesters are not the only ones benefitting from technology. Iran’s oppressive government, with help from Nokia and Siemens, has implemented a subversion scanning system currently deep-inspecting nearly every piece of data flowing in and out of the country. Apparently this includes virtually all phone calls. Better yet, they are now using crowdsourcing techniques to help put names and addresses to photos of protesters. Protesters who will undoubtedly be “disappeared” once identified.
Those folks in Iran using Twitter to let us know about what is happening there are taking their lives into their own hands, thanks to technology sold, implemented, and serviced by suppliers from supposedly enlightened democratic nations. If I was one of the employees from Nokia or Siemens responsible for their wonderful new spy system, I would be asking my bosses some pretty pointed questions right at the moment. Right before I put in my resignation.