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[TheGuardian] Vodafone reveals existence of secret wires that allow state surveillance

Vodafone, one of the world's largest mobile phone groups, has revealed the existence of secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to all conversations on its networks, saying they are widely used in some of the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe and beyond. […]

The company said wires had been connected directly to its network and those of other telecoms groups, allowing agencies to listen to or record live conversations and, in certain cases, track the whereabouts of a customer. Privacy campaigners said the revelations were a "nightmare scenario" that confirmed their worst fears on the extent of snooping. […]

Direct-access systems do not require warrants, and companies have no information about the identity or the number of customers targeted. Mass surveillance can happen on any telecoms network without agencies having to justify their intrusion to the companies involved. […]

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jun/06/vodafone-reveals-secret-...