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Creativity Software

Creativity Software

Industry: 
Software
Country: 
UK
Sources: 

"A British company, Creativity Software, announced in August 2009 that it had won a contract to supply the technology, which it said would allow MTN Irancell to offer its customers special rates at home. 'Creativity Software has worked in partnership with Huawei, where they will provide first and second level support to the operator,' the company said at the time. An official with Creativity Software did not respond to requests for comment. In a statement last year, the company said its sale was legal and 'any connection implied between the provision of commercial location-based services deployed by MTN Irancell in Iran and any possible human rights abuses is ... erroneous.'" (Reuters, "Special Report: How foreign firms tried to sell spy gear to Iran," 12/4/2012)

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"In the House of Lords today, David Alton asked why the sale of such software to Iran is allowed; what the government makes of democracy activists who say it has been used against them; and asked for an accounting of sales to Iran of such gear by Creativity Software Ltd., a British technology company which has had links to Foreign Secretary William Hague... He asked if the government intends 'to permit Creativity Software to continue providing British-made intercept software and equipment to Irancell.'... Creativity Software this year sold a system that enables Iranian law enforcement and security forces to monitor cell phone locations, Bloomberg News reported on Oct. 31 citing three people familiar with the transaction... For that article, Creativity Software confirmed that it counts mobile-phone operator MTN Irancell Telecommunications Services Co. as a client but declined to discuss sales of any location-tracking gear for law enforcement purposes, saying it would breach contract confidentiality. The company didn’t immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment today... Separately, Alton said Hague should answer questions over his link to Creativity Software, based in Kingston upon Thames... Before being named foreign secretary, Hague received money from Bruce Macfarlane and Alan Morgan, the managing partner and chairman of MMC Ventures Ltd., to pay for a researcher, according to filings with the House of Commons. MMC Ventures has a stake in Creativity Software... 'MMC Ventures is a minority investor in Creativity Software and as such it would be completely inappropriate for us to comment on the day-to-day running of the company, including the individual contracts that they have, not least for reasons of confidentiality,' the company said in an e-mailed statement."(Bloomberg, "U.K. Urged to Ban Sale to Iran of Software Used to Crush Dissent," 11/8/2011)

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"Stockholm-based Ericsson AB, Creativity Software Ltd., of the U.K. and Dublin-based AdaptiveMobile Security Ltd. marketed or provided gear over the past two years that Iran's law enforcement or state security agencies would have access to, according to more than 100 documents and interviews with more than two dozen technicians and managers who worked on the systems... Ericsson and Creativity Software offered technology expressly for law enforcement use -- including a location- monitoring product proposed by Ericsson in early 2009 and one sold this year by Creativity, according to the interviews... Early this year, Creativity Software sold a system that enables Iranian law enforcement and security forces to monitor cell phone locations, according to three people familiar with the transaction. With it, police can track a target’s movements every 15 seconds and plot the locations on a map, according to a 19-page company product specification document. Creativity Software confirms that Irancell is a client, but declined to discuss sales of any location-tracking gear for law enforcement purposes, saying it would breach contract confidentiality... Creativity Software, based southwest of London in Kingston upon Thames, announced a deal in August 2009 to sell Irancell commercial customer location services... Early this year, it sold the mobile phone provider a second system that allows law enforcement to locate and track targets, according to three people familiar with the transaction... The system can record a person’s location every 15 seconds -- eight times more frequently than a similar system the company sold in Yemen, according to company documents. A tool called 'geofences' triggers an alarm when two targets come in close proximity to each other. The system also stores the data and can generate reports of a person’s movements. A former Creativity Software manager said the Iran system was far more sophisticated than any other systems the company had sold in the Middle East... Creativity Software held initial conversations with MCI early this year to provide a nearly identical system, according to two former Creativity managers, though the status of those talks is unclear... Employees at Creativity Software were concerned about selling the technology to Iran, says Venu Gokaram, who worked as a test manager for the company until early this year... Creativity Software, which is privately-held and partly funded by London-based venture capital firm MMC Ventures, announced last November that it had made four sales in six months in the Middle East for law enforcement purposes without identifying the mobile operator clients... Saul Olivares, market development director at Creativity Software, declined to discuss sales of law enforcement technology, but in an e-mail he pointed to its practical benefits, such as locating individuals during disasters, for ambulance crews and in other emergencies... Jon Coker, investment director at MMC Ventures and a board member at Creativity Software, declined to comment... According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Ericsson signed at least 27 contracts worth $5.25 million with the U.S. government from the start of 2009 to the end of 2010. The data showed no U.S. government business with AdaptiveMobile or Creativity Software." (Bloomberg, "Iranian Police Seizing Dissidents Get Aid of Western Companies," 10/31/2011)

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"The same month the Chinese embassy posted the article, Creativity Software, a British company that specializes in 'location-based services,' announced it had won a contract to supply a system to MTN Irancell. 'Creativity Software has worked in partnership with Huawei, where they will provide first and second level support to the operator,' the company said... The announcement said the system would enable "Home Zone Billing"—which encourages people to use their cellphones at home (and give up their land lines) by offering low rates—as well as other consumer and business applications that track user locations. In a description of the service, Creativity Software says its technology also enables mobile-phone operators to 'comply with lawful-intercept government legislation,' which gives police access to communications and location information... A former telecommunications engineer at MTN Irancell said the company grew more interested in location-based services during the antigovernment protests. He said a team from the government's telecom-monitoring center routinely visited the operator to verify the government had access to people's location data. The engineer said location tracking has expanded greatly since the system first was installed... An official with Creativity Software confirmed that MTN Irancell is a customer and said the company couldn't comment because of 'contractual confidentiality.'" (The Wall Street Journal, "Chinese Tech Giant Aids Iran," 10/27/2011)

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In a press release published on its website, Creativity announced it had been selected by Irancell to provide 'end-to-end' LBS solutions and be the second largest operator in Iran with LBS infrastucture. (Creativity Software website)

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