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Revealed: Govt. sought access to millions of Indians' data from Vodafone

India TV News Desk 07 June 2014, 12:31
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: The world's second largest mobile phone company, Vodafone, has said that India is among 29 nations that sought access to its network last year, acknowledging at the same time the existence of secret direct-access wires that are used by government agencies to snoop on private conversations, text messages and emails.

The detailed report from Vodafone, which covers the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe, Africa and Asia, provides the most comprehensive look to date at how governments monitor mobile phone communications.

It amounts to a call for a debate on the issue as businesses increasingly worry about being seen as worthy of trust.

The most explosive revelation was that in six countries, authorities require immediate access to an operator's network - bypassing legal niceties like warrants.

It did not name the countries for legal reasons and to safeguard employees working there.

The 20-page report, however, did not mention the number of requests made by India as disclosure of information on interception and communications data is not allowed by domestic law.

Vodafone, whose footprint spans 29 countries and 400 million subscribers, did not say if it complied with the requests made by the Indian government.

Civil rights advocates applauded Vodafone for releasing the report, and cracking open the debate, even as they expressed alarm at the infringements into civil rights.