& cplSiteName &

Eurobites: Vodafone Opens Window on Wire-tapping

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BBC screens World Cup in 4K; STC joins Bridge Alliance; BA in Internet talks with Inmarsat… and donkey news!

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has put the cat among the pigeons with the release of its first Law Enforcement Disclosure report, which provides juicy details of how it responds to "demands for assistance" from the authorities in the 29 countries in which it operates. It turns out that six of the 29 countries' governments enjoy direct wire-tap access to Vodafone's networks, though they aren't named. In nine of the countries covered, however, it is unlawful to disclose any information related to wire-tapping -- so who know's what's going on in Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, and Turkey. The revelations are bound to raise human rights concerns, such as those voiced by the director of lobby group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, in a Guardian report: "For governments to access phone calls at the flick of a switch is unprecedented and terrifying… [Edward] Snowden revealed the Internet was already treated as fair game. Bluster that all is well is wearing pretty thin -- our analogue laws need a digital overhaul." (See Vodafone Unveils Law Enforcement Disclosure Report and Mobile Security: The Snowden Fallout.)

  • In case you hadn't heard, the soccer World Cup kicks off in a week's time, assuming the stadiums have been built by then. The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) is using the tournament as a vehicle to test-transmit so-called 4K TV, relaying three of the games, including the quarter-final and the final, in this fancy-dan 1080-pixel high-definition format. The games will only be made available to a limited number of TV sets at specific BBC sites, however.

  • Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has become the newest member of the Bridge Alliance, a partnership of 36 mobile operators across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific that aims to foster collaboration around mobile enterprise services and M2M. STC has 23 million subscribers; the Bridge Alliance has a combined customer base of more than 660 million subscribers. (See Saudi Telecom Joins Bridge Alliance.)

  • UK airline British Airways is in talks with satellite operator Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) with a view to becoming the launch customer of Inmarsat's high-speed Internet service on short-haul routes, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Inmarsat is hoping to launch the European Union-wide service in 2016.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM)'s data center in Bern-Wankdorf (no sniggering at the back!) has been awarded Tier IV Design Certification by the Uptime Institute, the first in Switzerland to be so feted. The Uptime Institute defines and certifies four operator classes (Tier Levels I to IV), covering elements such as power supply, air-conditioning systems, and the corresponding control technology.

  • And finally: UK mobile operator EE is celebrating the rollout of 4G services to 15 more towns by offering "4G-powered" donkey rides on the beach in one of the towns, West Kirby. Bolt, Zip, Lightning, and Flash will be kitted out with high-speed WiFi in their saddles, thus turning the lovable if stubborn beasts into WiFi hotspots for the day. Surely one of them should be called EEyore?

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    (1)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    6/6/2014 | 10:27:29 AM
    Shocking Wire-Tapping?
    Vodaphone's report on the 29 countries with direct wires into it's system should be shocking news. But, because the public is becoming accustomed to these types of revelations, it's being just another back page story. There would seem to be a need for some universal data collection agreements among the world's nations. A bit utopian, I'm sure, but the alternattive of no restrictions might be something we'll all regret.
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    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.
    Friday, October 21, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: Evolving the Data Center
    Rasool Kareem Irfan, Head, Telecom & Infrastructure Security Practice, Tata Communications Transformation Services Ltd (TCTS)
    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
    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's Plan for DOCSIS Deployment

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join VeEX's CEO Cyrille Morelle and Light Reading's Alan Breznick as they discuss VeEX's new products at SCTE 2016 at Philadelphia.
    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
    Amazon Unlimited, Alexa, AI & How to Cut Off Google at Its Knees
    Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/14/2016
    US Issues Total Flight Ban on Samsung Note 7
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/15/2016
    Oh Snap! Qualcomm Unveils X50, Its First 5G Modem
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/17/2016
    Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
    Amazon Exploring Future as an ISP – Report
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/19/2016
    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.