(Multinational corporation, Telecommunications company)
|16 September 1991
|• Ernest Harrison
• Gerry Whent
|Newbury, Berkshire, England, UK
Vodafone Group is a British multinational telecommunications company.
Telephone tapping in Greece
In 2005, it was exposed that foreign intelligence agencies were involved the illegal tapping of more than 100 mobile phones on the Vodafone Greece network belonging mostly to members of the Greek government and top-ranking civil servants.
Cable & Wireless
British telecommunications firms have helped Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) dramatically scale-up the volume of internet data it collects from undersea cables. British telecommunications company Cable & Wireless played a leading role in the secret cable tapping operation, and the collaboration went further than simply complying with the law in helping implement the surveillance.
In July 2012, Vodafone bought Cable & Wireless for about $1.5 billion. According to documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the cables have become an integral part of the global mass surveillance system operated by the British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters, intimately assisted by a company now owned by Vodafone, the world’s third largest cellphone network provider.
The company provided GCHQ with updates on opportunities it could give the agency to tap into internet traffic, and in February 2009 a GCHQ employee was assigned to work within Cable & Wireless in a "full-time project management" role. The British government paid Cable & Wireless more than £5 million ($9 million) as part of an annual lease for GCHQ to access the cables. Cable & Wireless also helped GCHQ obtain data from a rival foreign communications company, India's Reliance Communications, enabling the spies to sweep up communications sent by millions of internet users worldwide through a Reliance-owned cable that stretches from England across Asia and the Middle East.
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