Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced last Friday they will introduce legislation that would prohibit government contracts with any company selling technology to the Iranian regime which helps it monitor its citizens.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Iranian government bought technology from Nokia Siemens Network, a joint venture of Nokia and Siemens, which enables them to monitor phone calls and internet activity.
“It is utterly outrageous that Western companies sell equipment that allows the Iranian government to spy on their citizens, prevent communications between citizens and thwart any type of uprising against the regime,” Schumer said in a press release. “This legislation is going to crack down on these companies so that we can do our part in preventing this regime from controlling the Iranian people.”
“Our proposal and legislation would weaken the Iranian regime’s ability to control the Internet,” Graham said. “The Internet has proven to be one of the strongest weapons in the hands of the Iranian people seeking freedom and trying to chart a new destiny for their country. Companies that provide technology to the Iranian regime to control the Internet must be forced to pay a heavy price. Our legislation is a constructive proposal that empowers the people of Iran and weakens the regime.”
Senators Schumer and Graham sent a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton calling on her to “urge the European Union to restrict the sale of equipment and services to Iran that could be used to monitor, control, and suppress the private communications and free expression of the Iranian people.”
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