Lawmakers Blast UN for Handing U.S. Technology to North Korea, Iran

By:  Alex Newman
07/23/2012
       
Lawmakers Blast UN for Handing U.S. Technology to North Korea, Iran

 Outraged U.S. members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are speaking out against the United Nations “World Intellectual Property Organization” (WIPO) after it was caught providing potentially dangerous American technology to the regimes ruling Iran and North Korea. The UN agency reluctantly promised to “review” the issue, but GOP and Democrat lawmakers on Capitol Hill say that is simply not enough.

 Outraged U.S. members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are speaking out against the United Nations “World Intellectual Property Organization” (WIPO) after it was caught providing potentially dangerous American technology to the regimes ruling Iran and North Korea. The UN agency reluctantly promised to “review” the issue, but GOP and Democrat lawmakers on Capitol Hill say that is simply not enough.

“We have written to WIPO demanding an independent, external investigation of how WIPO could have provided sophisticated U.S.-origin technology to rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran,” explained Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Calif.), the top Republican and Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Instead, the WIPO leadership has announced that it will institute a mere ‘review,’ which falls far short.”

“What’s needed is an immediate and credible investigation,” the lawmakers said in the joint statement.

The latest UN scandal began as far back as 2010 when, over the course of at least a year, WIPO offered computers, servers, firewalls, equipment, and other technology to the two dictatorships — both of which are currently under international sanctions by the UN itself. Details first began to surface earlier this year.

The global organization’s decision sparked an outcry, especially after it originally refused a U.S. State Department demand for an investigation. However, following the growing public scandal, WIPO agreed to take a few tepid measures including a change in some internal policies and a “review” of its activities.  

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Photo: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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