Snowden document isn’t proof of telco-spy deal, says UK agency as it squashes privacy complaint


Last year the campaign group Privacy International tried to complain to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) about telecom companies – such as BT and Vodafone – being over-helpful to the British spy agency GCHQ in its mass surveillance efforts.

That attempt just failed. On Monday, the OECD’s U.K. national contact point (NCP), an agency run out of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, rejected the complaint because the only piece of evidence connecting the telcos with mass surveillance activities around the world — a presentation leaked by Edward Snowden and reported on by a German newspaper — didn’t provide sufficient proof of OECD guidelines being broken.

Snowden-derived presentation

The report in question came from Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung in August last year. It listed the codenames for carriers – [company]BT[/company], [company]Verizon[/company] Business, [company]Vodafone[/company] Cable, [company]Global Crossing[/company], [company]Level 3[/company], [company]Viatel[/company] and [company]Interoute[/company] – that work with GCHQ’s “special…

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