Vodafone and Verizon accused of secretly sharing data with British spy agency

Vodafone and Verizon accused of secretly sharing data with British spy agency

Telecommunications services providers Vodafone and Verizon have secretly shared subscriber data with a British intelligence agency, the Internal Security Division of the Indian Home Ministry has alleged.

As per the Home Ministry's Internal Security Division, the UK-based Vodafone and Verizon have provided British intelligence agency Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) with unlimited access to their network, enabling them to tap their subscribers' phone calls, messages, emails etc.

The documents claimed, "GCHQ's mass tapping operations has been built up over the past five years by attaching intercept probes to the transatlantic cables where they land on British shores."

The shocking allegations surfaced at a time when Vodafone Plc has gained the Foreign Investment Promotion Board's (FIPB's) approval for increasing its stake in Vodafone India Ltd.

Vodafone is involved in a tax dispute of around Rs 20,000 crore with the government over the purchase of Hutch's stake in 2007.

When contacted, a spokesperson for Vodafone said that the approval of its FDI proposal by the FIPB and CCEA stated that it was cleared after due diligence.

The British telecom giant also refuted the allegation that it secretly shared customer data with the British spy agency, claiming that it always comply with the laws in all countries of its operations.

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