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Netherlands: Vodafone calls for spying debate to focus on secret services

Rob Shuter, CEO of Vodafone Netherlands, has called for a more in-depth debate about the spying revelations of the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The discussion to date has lacked factual information, Shuter said in an article on the operator's blog. He said the debate should centre on how the Netherlands balances effective law enforcement and intelligence services with privacy protection. The question is whether intelligence services have the correct judicial authority and whether there is effective oversight at an international level.

Vodafone is concerned that in recent weeks its has attracted the image, as a company of British origin, of one that passes information about customers to intelligence services. Vodafone strongly denied this, with the CEO noting that such suggestions are "completely untrue" and ignore the judicial framework applicable to all operators in the Netherlands. The company name Vodafone Cable has also emerged as part of leaked secret documents. However, Vodafone said that no such company exists.

Vodafone noted further that it meets the requirements of Dutch law, but that it's not possible to test the legality of a request to tap communications. The Dutch parliament will hold a debate with the foreign affairs minister on 16 October over the government's reaction to the spying revelations. The opposition party D66 has called on the government to agree a treaty with the US to prevent such spying, reports. 

Read more: Vodafone calls for spying debate to focus on secret services - Telecompaper

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