Vodafone said it doesn’t recognize the existence of an unlawful agreement between Cable & Wireless and British GCHQ Agency to spy customers of the group, said representatives of the operator, in response to a series of accusations presented in the media on the basis of documents stolen by Edward Snowden. According to information published by Channel 4 News and quoted by Bloomberg, Cable & Wireless, which was acquired by Vodafone in 2012, has worked extensively with GCHQ, which gave access to the network of fiber optic cables.
Moreover, the division had signed agreements with Vodafone telecommunications operators abroad to help British spies to access global data. GCHQ is the division of Internet communications and information services in the UK. The documents presented by Channel 4 News shows that Cable & Wireless representatives had regularly meetings with GCHQ agents in 2008-2010. Also, GCHQ, used at least until April 2013,was using a network access point, which had at one point been run by Cable & Wireless, according to the Channel 4 report.
“We have found no indication whatsoever of unlawful activity within Vodafone or Cable & Wireless, and we do not recognize any of the U.K. intelligence agency programs identified,” Newbury, England-based Vodafone said in a statement on its website. “Furthermore, Vodafone does not own or operate the cables referred to.”
Vodafone added that they performed a series of investigations about Cable & Wireless before the acquisition in 2012, after which didn’t find evidence that would back up the claims of Snowden. Last year, the British newspaper, The Guardian reported, quoting documents provided by Snowden, that Vodafone was among telecom operators who offered GCHQ access to their undersea cables.
Following accusations, Vodafone released in June this year, a report submitting information received from the Governments of the countries in which it has operations, as well as cases in which the group is forced to comply with their demands. “Vodafone does not allow access to customer data in any country. Refusal to comply with a country’s laws is not an option.” reads the group.