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When Nokia left Russia, a massive monitoring infrastructure remained.

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Nokia has been providing equipment and services to Russia’s leading telecom service provider, MTS, for more than five years. The System for Operative Investigative Activities, or SORM, is most certainly being utilized to repress anti-war voices within Russia as Vladimir Putin seeks to quiet them. Nokia knew it was aiding a Russian monitoring system, according to documents dating from 2008 to 2017. Nokia, which has not contested the validity of the documents, claims that it was compelled to develop devices that would support Russia’s SORM system. The business urges countries to establish clearer export restrictions about where technology may be marketed.

Nokia’s yearly sales of $24 billion are mostly comprised of telecom equipment and services from Russia and Ukraine. SORM, which goes back to the 1990s, is similar to the methods used by law enforcement throughout the world to wiretap and monitor criminal targets. Before getting data from telecom service providers in Russia, authorities are normally obliged to acquire a court order.

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