Vodafone has issued a warning that new ‘snooping’ legislation from the British government will give ‘backdoor’ access to all aspects of its service.
This includes equipment and data, which would be accessible as part of the Investigatory Powers Bill. Vodafone believes this will undermine trust in the telecommunications industry and is particularly concerned that the security services will be able to install equipment to access the network and the various devices used by Vodafone customers.
Vodafone, which has submitted a document to the joint committee responsible for the legislation, is calling into question whether the new laws are actually needed.
There has already been a great deal of criticism of the plans, with other companies adding their voices to the campaign against them; for example, Apple believes consumer security will be weakened as a result.
The current legislation is not considered adequate due to some forms of electronic communication not being covered, including instant messaging. The planned legislation would force companies to allow the police and security services to hack into their computers and phones, and all browsing history would have to be stored. Companies would be put in a position where they would have to intercept data and store it for future use.
Vodafone admits that security measures are needed but wants to find a balance that both protects the UK and protects the data of the public, which is predominantly law-abiding. The company believes that new technology would be needed to meet the requirements of the new laws; however, this would provide no business benefits.