88% of UK residents believe that their phones are tapped

June 17, 2014
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Last week, Vodafone shocked everyone by disclosing¬†that¬†government agencies in multiple countries have direct access to their¬†infrastructure. This access gives those governments the ability to listen to conversations on Vodafone’s¬†networks and track the locations of mobile customers.

In the disclosure,¬†Vodafone laid out¬†the easy procedures that governments use to request information.¬†In some cases, the governments don’t have to make an interception request for the data, and access it directly from Vodafone’s infrastructure.¬†AT&T and Verizon have recently joined others in the US by¬†disclosing information about intelligence requests.

So it should not come as a big surprise to see new research showing that when it comes to privacy, few in the UK believe that their conversation on phones are actually private.

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The OnePoll study found that nine in ten people believe that the government was listening to their phone conversations. The study also found the following:

  • 12 percent of the 1,000 UK respondents believed their mobile calls and texts remained private.
  • 35 percent admitted they were “careful what they say” during a mobile call.
  • 25 percent¬†said they would actively avoiding making a call on a mobile in order to achieve some privacy.
  • 20 percent said it was “okay” to listen to the general public’s phone chatter

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