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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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