& cplSiteName &

Coffee, Tea, or Network Security?

Patrick Donegan

Amongst Europe's carriers, it's noticeable that the UK telcos are taking the lead in speaking out on the right balance between cooperating with government requests to monitor private communications and protecting customer privacy.

Is this because they're more worried than telcos in other countries that privacy concerns are dissuading users from consuming communications services?

Or are they perhaps more irritated than other telcos at the positive media coverage that the likes of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) are getting for their professed indignation at the unjustified violations (or is that allegedly unjustified violations?) of user privacy that appear to be commonplace?

Or maybe UK telcos have more to feel guilty about than telcos in other countries because of the British government's "special relationship" with the US in security-related matters?

Or are they just afraid that governments and users in other countries might think they've got more to feel guilty about because of that "special relationship"?

The reasons are debatable -- and we'll be debating them at a special breakfast briefing during Mobile World Congress -- but the facts speak for themselves.

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has stated it will be requesting from the UK government, and the governments of each of the 25 countries in which it operates, the right to disclose the number of demands it receives for wiretapping and customer data. "We want all of our customers worldwide to feel they are at liberty to communicate with each other as they see fit," the operator's privacy head, Stephen Deadman, told The Guardian newspaper. "We want our networks to be big and busy with people who are confident they can communicate with each other freely; anything that inhibits that is very bad for any commercial operator," he added. (See Euronews: Vodafone Makes a Stand on Privacy.)

Vodafone would like to disclose surveillance requests in its annual sustainability report, due to be published in June.

Now, as reported on Light Reading, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) CEO Gavin Patterson has publicly commented on the issues thrown open by the Snowden revelations, stating: "It's just too murky at the moment. It needs to be transparent and [there] needs to be clear guidelines about what's acceptable and what isn't," adding that the legislation has to "catch up" with the real world. (See Euronews: BT CEO Calls for Clarity on Data Security .)

Whatever is driving these UK telcos to start speaking out, BT and Vodafone are undoubtedly doing the entire telco community a substantial service. In recent months, trying to get carriers to respond as the Internet giants have done around the limits they want to see on government intrusion has been like trying to get blood out of a stone, mainly because the security traditions in which the carriers are so steeped demand -- that's right, demand! -- that they don't communicate publicly around the matter.

As well as other topical issues, such as the actual impact of mobile malware and DDoS attacks on the mobile network, this question of protecting customer information will be discussed at "Creating Trust in the Mobile Network," a breakfast event I am hosting during Mobile World Congress. The briefing, which will be held in Barcelona on Wednesday February 26, will feature guest speakers from Arbor Networks , Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Nokia Networks , and Cloudmark Inc. .

Those attending the event will also get a free copy of my new 50-page survey of mobile operators that focuses on the security threats causing them real problems -- and those that aren't.

Full marks to BT and Vodafone for being among the first to realize that the veil of silence around this issue is one that needs to be lifted. Telcos of the world should unite and speak up. You have much to lose, not least revenue and brand loyalty, if you don't.

— Patrick Donegan, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

  • Find out more about the "Creating Trust In the Mobile Network" breakfast briefing, including how to register, by clicking on this link.

    (1)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/28/2014 | 11:45:41 AM
    Maybe they have the most motivation, what with GCHQ right on their doorstep? :-)
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
    Fixed wireless broadband is the flavor of the month &ndash again &ndash but with a number of not-insignificant number of hurdles still to be overcome.
    The Internet of Things (IoT) is building excitement, but still finding some barriers hard to overcome – specifically the need for very low-cost, power-frugal and ubiquitous networking. Enter low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networking, making powerful and inexpensive long-range networks for the IoT a reality.
    AT&T and Amazon Web Services have planted flags in the ground that will shape the new landscape of collaborative partnerships for many years to come.
    Huawei CEO Eric Xu finds inspiration in an unlikely place -- Harley-Davidson's drive to transform itself into a digital enterprise for the 21st century.
    The ability to holistically analyze, in real time, any network data impacting customer experience is one reason why big data and analytics (BDA) will become a key network element in the near future.
    Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
    Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: Tackling DDoS
    Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
    Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
    Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
    Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
    SDN 101
    John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
    Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
    SDN & Open Source
    Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
    in association with:
    From The Founder
    Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei at SCTE 2016

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
    LRTV Custom TV
    New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

    10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

    Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

    10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
    LRTV Custom TV
    VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
    November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
    December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Hot Topics
    Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
    Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
    Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
    Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
    Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
    WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
    There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

    During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.