Vodafone reveals that governments are collecting personal data without limits
By Craig Timberg, Published: June 6 E-mail the writer
Britain’s Vodafone revealed Friday that several governments are collecting surveillance data directly from its networks without any legal review and publicly urged more safeguards against such unfettered access to the private communications of its customers.
The declarations, made by the world’s second-largest cellular carrier, show that the type of access to telecommunications networks enjoyed by the U.S. National Security Agency also occurs in other countries where legal protections almost certainly are lower. Vodafone’s networks span much of Europe and parts of Africa and Asia.
The company said that voice, Internet and other data could be collected without any court review in “a small number” of nations. Although the company does not name them, news reports suggested that one is Britain, whose GCHQ intelligence agency is a close partner of the NSA in filtering the world’s Internet traffic.