The Black Boxes: Teliasonera and the Belarusian Dictatorship

The Black Boxes: Teliasonera and the Belarusian Dictatorship

In March our colleague, the Swedish human rights activist Isabel Sommerfeld traveled to Belarus followed by a television team of the Swedish channel SVT to investigate the involvement of the nordic telecommunications giant Teliasonera with the Belarusian Regime. The result of this investigation is a 60 minute report that shows clearly how Teliasonera is  intimately connected to human rights abuses in the former CIS countries where the company is a dominant player in the mobile telephony market.

The video with English subtitles can be found here: http://svt.se/ug/video-the-black-boxes-3

For more information on the topic we also cite a news article published by SVT on April 18, 2012:

Teliasonera cooperates with oppressive regimes

Nordic Telecom giant Teliasonera is intimately connected to human rights abuses in the former CIS countries where the company is a dominant player in the mobile telephony market, Swedish Television´s “Uppdrag granskning” can disclose in an in depth investigation airing Wednesday 18th of April.

Teliasoneras record profits this year of more than 36 Bn SEK (€ 3,84 Bn) are built to a large extent on business in the former east-bloc dictatorships like Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. But the success story has a downside for the citizens of the ruthless regimes.

Officially the Swedish- Finnish corporation want to communicate a picture of supporting democratic developments through their technology. But “Uppdrag gransknings” team of reporters, Sven Bergman, Joachim Dyfvermark and Fredrik Laurin can now unveil how Teliasoneras companies have been important tools for the regimes in the former CIS-countries in controlling and oppressing their own citizens.

The team has met with and interviewed numerous opposition politicians, journalists, union members and ordinary citizens that have two things in common: They are all Teliasonera customers, and all had their human rights abused by the security services or police in their home countries after Teliasonera has made information from their mobile phone traffic available to the authorities.

After the Arab spring the regimes in these countries are even more interested in controlling their people. There is no limit to how much they listen to calls. They have free reign in Tealisonera´s systems, a centrally placed source in Teliasonera says to “Uppdrag granskning”.

Teliasonera is listed on the Stockholm stock exchange (TLSN) and its main owners are the Swedish (37 %) and Finnish states. (Finnish state currently owns 11 %, had 14 % until 20120320 and is going down to 9 % by 2015).

Teliasonera has adopted the UN CSR-initiative “Global compact”.

Link: http://svt.se/ug/teliasonera-cooperates-with-oppressive-regimes

 



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