However, Stockholm municipality has threatened to change providers following the revelation of Telia Sonera’s cooperation with several dictatorships, reported several Swedish media sources.
This move would lose Telia Sonera some 40,000 phone subscriptions.
The Liberal Party’s Madeleine Sjöstedt, Stockholm’s deputy mayor of culture and real estate, described the information unveiled about Telia Sonera “upsetting and surprising”.
“I think we should consider introducing a human rights clause in our contracts, since such progress has been made in companies’ CSR plans. Many companies have them, but obviously many have work left to do,” she said to national radio station SR.
The Green Party, Centre Party and the Christian Democrats also allegedly support investigating the city’s contract with Telia Sonera.
National TV station SVT showed last week that Telia Sonera is making a bundle in dealings with several dictatorships, for instance Azerbajdzjan, Belarus and Uzbekistan.
In order to secure the lucrative contracts, the telephone systems have reportedly been opened for the countries’ security services, leading to tapped phones and arrested dissidents.
Telia Sonera’s CEO Lars Nyberg defended the company’s actions in an opinion piece in newspaper Dagens Nyheter, in which he wrote that single companies cannot take responsibility for human rights.
“That responsibility lies with politicians and governments,” he wrote.