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controversial technology sales

Telia Sonera threatened with loss of 40,000 customers

Published lördag 21 april 2012 kl 12.18
Madeleine Sjöstedt. Photo: SvD/Scanpix

Local Stockholm politician Madeleine Sjöstedt says it could be time to change operator for city hall employees after revelations that Swedish telecom company Telia Sonera provides technology that can be used to track its users to authoritarian regimes.

Sjöstedt says she reacted to the news with "horror" over the company's presence in Belarus and Uzbekistan. Sjöstedt also says she wants more discussions about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-

Around 40,000 city hall employees currently use Telia Sonera's services.

"Next time we buy communication services for Stockholm I want us to have a democracy demand in the tender process," she writes on her blog.

"There appears to be an incredibly lack of awareness within the company about the countries where it operates," says Madeleine Sjöstedt, who is responsible for the city's cultural portfolio, to Swedish Radio.

"We should consider a human rights clause when we buy services," she says.

"Consumer boycott is an effective tool, whether you're a private person or a large buyer like city hall is, and we should use it against companies."

"They won't even call Belarus a dictatorship," she says, before telling Swedish Radio she aims to buy a new telephone and subscription service in order to not use her Telia Sonera work phone.

Telia Sonera CEO Lars Nyberg on Saturday defended his company in the debate pages of the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter. He wrote that individual companies should not be held responsible for human rights.

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