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.
Vodafone is basically admitting that the government installed links directly into their core networks which gave the governments the ability to grab whatever info they wanted on Vodafone’s customers, without a warrant or even notifying Vodafone. Vodafone didn’t even know what was going on because the staff enlisted to do this work by the government, who may be Vodafone employees, were not allowed to tell Vodafone. I guess they had their suspicions, but now Vodafone is going public with what they know (within the law, I guess?).
It’s not surprising Vodafone is part of the dragnet though – every other telco is too. Telstra are basically a clearing house for ASIO/DSD/Five Eyes. Good on Vodafone for being one of the first (if not the first?) telco to publicly admit to it and go “hey, look, this is what we’ve been doing, we didn’t like it but we had to”. I wonder if there will be any info about Vodafone’s Australian operations in this report?