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Vodafone: Governments Worldwide Are Tapping Phone Calls

Oliver Hoffmann/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Vodafone, the world’s second-largest cellphone company, says governments around the world have access to listen in on private phone calls.

In a report covering the 29 countries where it operates, Vodafone says that the law in some countries "dictates that specific agencies and authorities must have direct access to an operator’s network, bypassing any form of operational control over lawful interception on the part of the operator."

"In those countries," the report continues, "Vodafone will not receive any form of demand for lawful interception access as the relevant agencies and authorities already have permanent access to customer communications via their own direct link."

The findings add to worldwide concern about privacy rights highlighted by the classified documents that were leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

“Direct-access systems do not require warrants, and companies have no information about the identity or the number of customers targeted,” says Friday’s Guardian newspaper.

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