European Data Protection Digest

Telecoms Provided User Data to GCHQ

SURVEILLANCE—UK

August 8, 2013

According to more leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden, telecom providers, including Vodafone and BT, among others, allegedly passed on user data to British spy agency GCHQ, The Independent reports. Shared data includes customer phone calls, e-mail and Facebook postings. Companies did not comment on specifics but said they were complying with UK and EU law. Privacy International’s Eric King said, “We urgently need clarity on how close the relationship is between companies assisting with intelligence gathering and government.” A Vodafone spokesman said the company does not “disclose any customer data in any jurisdiction unless legally required to do so,” adding, “Questions related to national security are a matter for governments, not telecommunications operators.”
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