Nokia has provided communication equipment for the Russian network monitoring system29. 03. 2022 Tuesday / By: Robert Denes / Industrial / Exact time: BST / Print this page
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, companies around the world have announced the cessation of their products and services to Russia. Nokia, a communications equipment manufacturer, has also announced that it will stop selling its products to Russia, but the New York Times has recently reported that "Nokia equipment is participating in the Russian network monitoring system."
The Russian government operates a “System of Operational Investigations (SORM)” that can monitor domestic network connections and used SORM to describe Alexei Navalny, known as a political enemy of President Vladimir Putin. t is likely to continue to be used to monitor anti-war outbound calls.
And recently, according to the New York Times, a total of 2 TB of insider information from Nokia reads that "Nokia considers SOMR to be Russia's largest telecommunications provider." We have provided the means to connect."
The New York Times points out that the equipment provided by Nokia has allowed the Federal Security Service (FSB) to monitor telephone, email and Internet communications through MTS services.
"It would not have been possible to build a SORM without Nokia's involvement," said Andrei Soldatov, who is well aware of Russia's security, highlighting the magnitude of its impact on Nokia's SOMR.
Following the above coverage of the New York Times, Nokia issued an official statement to the New York Times.
Nokia responds to New York Times article of March 28 on lawful interception... The New York Times, in its article of March 28, makes claims regarding Nokia’s role in Russia’s lawful intercept system, also known by the abbreviation SORM. Nokia believes this article is misleading. As Nokia has made clear to The New York Times, Nokia does not manufacture, install or service SORM equipment or systems. Any suggestions that we do, are incorrect. Lawful intercept is a standard capability that exists in every network in almost every nation. It provides properly authorized law enforcement agencies with the ability to track and view certain data and communications passing through an operator’s network for purposes of combatting crime. Nokia is one of many network infrastructure providers who supplied the Russian market. The article claims Nokia networks play an active part in enabling SORM equipment. This is incorrect. Like any other network infrastructure suppliers, Nokia is required to ensure that the networking products we sell have passive capability to interface with lawful intercept equipment of law enforcement agencies. This is governed by internationally recognized standards, as well as local regulations. All Nokia deals go through a strict Human Rights due diligence process that has been externally assessed and vetted by the Global Network Initiative (GNI). We are the first and only telecommunications equipment vendor to have this external assessment in place. Despite numerous requests, Nokia was not provided with the documents that the New York Times purportedly based its story on and therefore was not able to comment on their authenticity. However, the NYT confirmed to Nokia that they were the same documents that were shared and publicly reported on by TechCrunch in 2019 and it was made clear at the time that they do not show Nokia manufacturing, installing or servicing SORM equipment or systems. Lawful Intercept Lawful intercept is a standard capability that exists in every network in almost every nation. It provides properly authorized law enforcement agencies with the ability to track and view certain data and communications passing through an operator’s network for purposes of combatting crime. In Russia it is known as “SORM.” Nokia does not manufacture, install or service SORM equipment or systems. Any suggestions that we do, are incorrect. Nokia, like every network infrastructure supplier, is required to ensure that the networking products we sell can interface with lawful intercept equipment of lawful enforcement agencies. This is governed by internationally recognized standards, as well as local regulations. The lawful intercept capability that may exist in an operator’s network which contains Nokia products is the obligation of the operator and any associated equipment is provided by third parties. Nokia does not have an ability to control, access or interfere with any lawful intercept capability in the networks which our customers own and operate. New York Times Nokia has not been provided with the documents that the New York Times has purportedly based its story on. However, the NYT confirmed to Nokia that they were the same documents that were shared and publicly reported on by TechCrunch in 2019 and it was made clear at the time that they do not show Nokia manufacturing, installing or servicing SORM equipment or systems. Nokia has offered and continues to be willing to sit down with the New York Times to help its journalists better understand our technical documents. The information that was already published by TechCrunch in 2019 does not show anything more than Nokia’s product interfaces meeting the standards-based, legal requirements related to lawful intercept. The same standards and legal requirements have governed every other infrastructure supplier which has supplied equipment in Russia. In fact, Nokia is not even permitted to access SORM equipment or systems whether sitting on an operator or relevant authority’s premises. Additionally, it is a third party which converts the standards-based interface in Nokia’s products to fit with the legal intercept requirements – a fact which is also reflected in the 2019 documents. A Commitment to Human Rights Nokia ensures that all deals go through our strict Human Rights due diligence process which is based on international principles such as those of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This process has been externally assessed and vetted by the Global Network Initiative (GNI) as the first and only telecommunications equipment vendor. We comply with all legal restrictions, including having the correct export licences from the relevant governments. We condemn any misuse of lawful intercept to infringe on human rights. To prevent this, there is a strong need for multi-lateral action to ensure sufficient frameworks are put in place. We believe this topic requires immediate attention and through our participation with GNI have called for more information about existing legal and technical architectures, as well as debate on possible modifications that might be required. Nokia Condemns Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine As stated on March 4, Nokia strongly and unequivocally condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the deaths of innocent people. Nokia stands for human rights, international co-operation and the rule of law. We support and comply with all sanctions and restrictions and have suspended all our hardware and software deliveries to Russia. More information On lawful interception, ETSI: https://www.etsi.org/technologies/lawful-interception On the Nokia Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) process: https://www.nokia.com/about-us/sustainability/integrity/
According to Nokia, networks in almost every country have a "legitimate eavesdropping feature" that allows law enforcement to track and display specific data upon request. To achieve this feature, telecom equipment manufacturers, including Nokia, say they need to incorporate the ability to track and display communications. In addition, Nokia is one of the companies that provides network infrastructure to Russia and does not maintain SOMR. "Nokia is deeply involved in SOMR in New York. Times coverage is misleading."Via Link