Vodafone – the biggest British multinational telecommunication company – is fighting one of its toughest battles in its 23 years of operation; the fight against government spying.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed the unprecedented and warrant-less surveillance of the U.S. government not only within its borders but in other countries as well have shaken everyone from each class of the society. The NSA said that these action is for America’s security, safety of its citizens and affiliates abroad. But still the matter has raised tensions all over the world and shattered some of the U.S. overseas relationships which placed the country into darker waters.
Interception and monitoring of private phone calls and messages from private individuals require a legal court warrant before implemented by any agency, government or non-government. But some countries have acquired a system to bi-pass the courts governing laws through the use of the governments absolute power to impose their own regulations and take control over the telecom industry.
Vodafone said in their transparency report that the issuance of wiretapping warrants from any legal court would render useless as many government agencies around the world already has direct access to Vodafone’s communication networks, giving many secret agencies an unlimited access to any subscriber’s phone call, private messages, emails, internet searches and meta-data. That would mean unlimited real-time communication data from all subscribers that are available 24/7.
There is a total of 29 countries in the world that have installed secret cables to Vodafone’s network that the telecom refused to name to protect the company and its people.
Vodafone puts itself in a very in-accommodating situation as of the moment as it travels the path of disclosure. The Problem is that if a telecommunication company like Vodafone refuses to assist the government with its demands, their license to operate will be at stake preventing them from delivering services to their subscribers. But the British telecom will never permit this from happening that is why the company is now calling for these agencies to disconnect their direct access installations in Vodafone’s network. Justify their previous actions and abide with the governing laws before running these kinds of operations.
This kind of system made by the government must be seized right away and replaced by a better alternative.
Let us just hope that a more sophisticated ruling will be soon in-order to resolve this matter. Let us also hope that Vodafone’s move will empower more people in seeing the truth, so that the fight they have started won’t go into astray, only to be abandoned and forgotten, forever.