Will we ever discover the full extent of state snooping into our private lives? A year on from the NSA / Snowden revelations, Vodafone has today admitted that government agencies use wire taps to monitor its customer calls across Europe.
Though not revealing exactly which of the 29 European territories it operates in have been tapped (it is unlawful to do so in the Albanian, Egyptian, Hungarian, Indian, Maltese, Qatari, Romanian, South African and Turkish regions that make up some of Vodafone's operations), the network is hoping to combat the increasing use of secret surveillance on citizen's communications by disclosing the extent of such practices.
The company has published a 40,000 "Law Enforcement Disclosure Report" today, detailing how surveillance wires have been connected directly to its network, allowing calls to be monitored and customers' whereabouts to be tracked. While nine governments already disclose the number and nature of their lawful intercept requests and communications data requests, the report marks the first time the number of requests made by Spanish and Tanzanian agencies has been made public.
Vodafone hopes that making this information transparent will lead to "regular scrutiny by an independent authority" on such practices, as it and other network operators' role in surveillance activities is increasingly called into question. [The Guardian]
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