Saturday, April 18, 2009

If you use Nokia cell phone for e-mail, you should know...

Thanks to Slash-dot, I ran across several pieces of information about Nokia cell phones that ought to be more widely known:

1. If you set up your newer Nokia phone for e-mail access, you have to use a wizard that demands you input your e-mail address, user name and password. The information can then leak. Yes. Read posts here at the blog, Mobilitics by Harri Salminen. Be sure to read the follow-up posts Harri has linked to there, which include a statement from Nokia.

2. Because the post about this on Slashdot included a reference and link about the "infamous Lex Nokia," I was educated after the fact about this through links and web searches. Probably the best article is one in The Register, a British online IT newspaper. There were several scandals, in 2000/2001 and 2005 about Nokia snooping in employee e-mails, looking for leaks, which I suppose means, industrial espionage. Then, in 2008, with huge support by Nokia, the Finnish parliament passed the new law, which many experts seemed to feel is unconstitutional under the Finnish constitution.

There is some controversy about whether Nokia, a Finnish company, threatened to leave the country if the law were not passed. Apparently, somebody said Nokia said they would leave Finland if they didn't get their law, but then afterward says, they never said such a thing. At any rate, the Helsingin Sanomat International edition reports here that the Constitutional Law Committee has examined the so-called Lex Nokia, officially, an amendment to the Act on Data Protection of Electronic Communications, is okey dokey. It is worth noting, that companies in the U.S. and the U.K., already have more power to look at employee e-mails than what is granted in this amendment. What is unnerving is the apparent power to push through a law in the company's own interest that is outside the constitution of the country. (of course, we can contemplate the RIAA group here, and Disney and other Copyright enlargers, can't we? and I'm sure we could come up with a few more corporations who have shaped the nation's laws to suit their corporate agenda)

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