Vodafone Discloses Widespread Government Spying Across Its 400 Million-Person Network
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The second largest mobile-phone company Vodafone revealed today that government agencies across the world are tapping calls placed over its 400 million-person network, which spans Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
The findings were released in the UK-headquartered company’s first-ever "Law Enforcement Disclosure" report, which stated that while 29 countries requested data that had been transmitted over Vodafone networks, six nations gained access without even having to ask. Requests ranged from wiretapping to accessing call and browsing records, Bloomberg reports.
While Vodafone did not name the six nations who were able to access its network without legal notices, it did note that several countries -- including Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa and Turkey -- forbid the disclosure of the form and frequency of surveillance requests.
Of all the countries included in the report, Italy made the most requests for data.
Vodafone and other communications companies have begun disclosing such reports on the heels of the government leak by Edward Snowden last year, which revealed the NSA’s far-reaching global surveillance initiatives.