It’s previously been reported that Iran was blocking access to some web sites for people inside the country as protesters took to the streets and the internet to dispute the results of the country’s recent presidential election.
But sources told the Journal that the government’s activities have gone beyond censorship to massive spying. They say the deep-packet inspection, which deconstructs data in transit then reconstructs it, could be responsible for network activity in Iran having recently slowed to less than a tenth of its regular speed. The slowdown could be caused by the inspection at a single point, rather than at numerous network points, as China reportedly does it.
A brochure promoting the equipment sold to Iran says the technology allows for “the monitoring and interception of all types of voice and data communication on all networks.”
A spokesman for Nokia Siemens Networks defended the sale of the equipment to Iran suggesting that the company provided the technology with the idea that it would be used for “lawful intercept,” such as combating terrorism, child pornography, drug trafficking and other criminal activity. Equipment installed for law enforcement purposes, however, can easily be used for spying as well.