Now this is probably not going to sound a lot like a shocker after what we have gone through in the past year with revelations on the NSA from Edward Snowden, but it is still unnerving to say the least. Telecoms operator Vodafone has admitted that government agencies did install wires in the company’s system which allowed them to eavesdrop on customer calls, in addition to keeping track of them. Vodafone, having operations across 29 countries, did admit that out of the 29, several could have had their mobile and landline system compromised by suits in the higher ups. It remains unlawful in half a dozen of the countries that Vodafone operates to disclose that the government is able to gain access to its internal system for surveillance purposes, so we still have no idea as to which countries will feature wire taps.
Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile phone groups, has revealed the existence of secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to all conversations on its networks, saying they are widely used in some of the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe and beyond. The company has broken its silence on government surveillance in order to push back against the increasingly widespread use of phone and broadband networks to spy on citizens, and will publish its first Law Enforcement Disclosure Report on Friday . At 40,000 words, it is the most comprehensive survey yet of how governments monitor the conversations and whereabouts of their people. The company said wires had been connected directly to its network and those of other telecoms groups, allowing agencies to listen to or record live conversations and, in certain cases, track the whereabouts of a customer. Privacy campaigners said the revelations were a “nightmare scenario” that confirmed their worst fears on the extent of snooping. In Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa and Turkey, it is unlawful to disclose any information related to wiretapping or interception of the content of phone calls and messages including whether such capabilities exist.