Kudos to Vodafone for formally telling the world that this invasion of privacy is happening, and I hope they help set something larger in motion here.
The company said wires had been connected directly to its network and those of other telecoms groups, allowing agencies to listen to or record live conversations and, in certain cases, track the whereabouts of a customer.
There is a very fine line between security and invasion of privacy - and this is usually crossed by people who want to abuse of their power.
I'm all for having the proper security checks and measures in place. I'm also in favour of giving up some privacy in favour of more security, however, at the very least, I expect this to be done transparently. I expect to know exactly what this information is being used for, and what we're being protected from.
Vodafone's group privacy officer, Stephen Deadman, said: "These pipes exist, the direct access model exists.
"We are making a call to end direct access as a means of government agencies obtaining people's communication data. Without an official warrant, there is no external visibility. If we receive a demand we can push back against the agency. The fact that a government has to issue a piece of paper is an important constraint on how powers are used."
The Malta Perspective
In Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa and Turkey, it is unlawful to disclose any information related to wiretapping or interception of the content of phone calls and messages including whether such capabilities exist.
Shame on the Maltese government for being on this list. Shame on both parties who have been in power over the past few years. One party implemented it, the other allowed it to stand.
It shows that Malta is one of the most spied on nations in Europe. The former British protectorate has a tiny population of 420,000, but last year Vodafone alone processed 3,773 requests for metadata.
Scurries off to download TOR browser again
With tongue firmly in cheek, Giannella De Leonardo refers to herself as the four-foot lady whose job requires running around the office screaming, “We’re being hacked!”
But this week, her excitement has more positive origins. The Malta–based information security analyst learned that she passed #ISACA’s June CISA exam.
“I didn't see the email,” Giannella explains. “I was out camping and swimming for the weekend and got a social-network message from a friend of mine. So I clumsily fumbled away on my phone, logged in to MyISACA and saw “Exam Result: Passed.” I had to go through the page twice to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.”
She wasn’t. And she earned her passing marks by beginning her studies six months prior to the exam. In the final three months, she focused on the CISA Review Manual and found support and encouragement in online CISA study groups.
“While ISACA’s CISA focuses on the auditor, my current role fills that of an auditee,” she says. “I'm looking forward to applying what I've learned so as to be able to work more harmoniously with our QSAs during an audit. CISA is a highly regarded certification and will certainly play an important role if I decide to pursue other opportunities in information security and auditing.”
Giannella admits she wasn’t sure how well she did upon leaving the exam. But her preparation, smarts and work history paid off.
“Obviously I was overjoyed I passed, and getting a pat on the back from managers and colleagues made it all worthwhile,” says the analyst, who plans to pursue the certification immediately and who hashtagged the tweet announcing her success with “uberstoked.”
She’s so stoked, in fact, that she immediately registered for the December CISM exam.
I'm Giannella, an Information Security Analyst from #Malta, a tiny sun-filled island in the heart of the Mediterranean.
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