says governments have direct access to eavesdrop in some countries
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[June 06, 2014]
LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone <VOD.L>,
the world's second-biggest mobile phone company, said government
agencies in a small number of countries in which it operates have direct
access to its network, enabling them to listen in to calls.
Security agencies across the world, and in particular in the
United States and Britain, have faced greater scrutiny since Edward
Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency
(NSA), disclosed the extent of their surveillance to newspapers.
Snowden's disclosures caused an international uproar, showing that
U.S. and British agencies' monitoring programs took in ordinary
people's telephone and electronic communications.
Vodafone on Friday published a "Disclosure Report" which said that
while in many of the 29 countries in which it operates, government
agencies need legal notices to tap into customers' communications,
there are some countries where this is not the case.
Vodafone said it could not give a full picture of all the requests
it gets, because it is unlawful in several countries to disclose
"In a small number of countries the law dictates that specific
agencies and authorities must have direct access to an operator's
network, bypassing any form of operational control over lawful
interception on the part of the operator," the company said.
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Vodafone has not named the countries where this can happen, but in
the document it calls on governments to amend legislation so
eavesdropping can only take place on legal grounds.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by David Holmes)
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