Feeds

Snowden leaks latest: BT, Vodafone, Verizon jack GCHQ into undersea fiber

We're just following the law, say telcos

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

UK carriers BT and Vodafone are among top telcos today accused of supplying surveillance data to Blighty's eavesdropping nerve center, GCHQ.

The Guardian cited documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden in reporting that the operators, along with Verizon Business and a number of smaller providers, provided spooks with access to their undersea cable networks for the collection of voice and internet traffic.

According to the report, the firms have assisted in the harvesting of social networking and email activity of customers as well as the banking of phone conversations by way of tapped fiber-optic lines.

A spokeswoman for Verizon told The Guardian: "Verizon continually takes steps to safeguard our customers' privacy. Verizon also complies with the law in every country in which we operate."

BT declined to comment. A spokesman for Voda added: "Vodafone does not disclose any customer data in any jurisdiction unless legally required to do so. Questions related to national security are a matter for governments not telecommunications operators."

Today's disclosure sheds further light on GCHQ's modern-day dragnet activities, first revealed in June after Snowden fled the US and handed reporters top-secret dossiers he obtained while working as an NSA contractor.

In addition to tapping undersea fiber cables for telco data, GCHQ – which shares intelligence with its American counterpart, the NSA – is said to be collecting other information from data-center communications links, essentially hoarding data generated by Google and Yahoo! services.

Following months of outcry, British MPs have taken steps to probe their spies' mass collection of data from private sources. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.