Govt should make its stand clear on Vodafone disclosure:SP,CPI

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New Delhi, Jun 7: Samajwadi Party and CPI today said the government should make its stand clear on telecom major Vodafone's disclosure that India was among 29 nations that sought access to its network to intercept calls, text messages and e-mails last year.

"At least one company has accepted it. We have been talking about it for years. We raised it when (Arun) Jaitley's (then Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha) phone was tapped. If the government has not given order for this, then people should know," SP leader Naresh Agarwal said here.

CPI's D Raja said after Vodafone's disclosure, it is for the government of India to "set the record straight". "...It should explain its position...common people do not have access to such areas. Government will have to face the allegation made by Vodafone and set the record straight," he said.

The company, in its Law Enforcement Disclosure report, however, did not mention the number of requests made by India as Indian laws don't allow disclosure of information on interception and communications data. Vodafone did not say if it complied with the requests made by the Indian government. The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, obliges telecom service providers to "maintain extreme secrecy" in matters concerning lawful interception.

Vodafone said though it respects the right to privacy of every customer, it also has to abide by the laws of various countries which require it to disclose information about its customers to law enforcement agencies or other government authorities.

PTI

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