Country-by-country disclosure of law enforcement assistance demands
As explained earlier in this report, Vodafone’s global business consists largely of a group of separate subsidiary companies, each of which operates under the terms of a licence or other authorisation issued by the government of the country in which the subsidiary is located, and each of which is subject to the domestic laws of that country.
In this section of the report, we provide a country-by-country insight into the nature of the local legal regime governing law enforcement assistance, together with an indication of the volume of each country’s agency and authority demands wherever that information is available and publication is not prohibited. In addition, a summary of some of the most relevant legal powers in each of our countries of operation can be found in our legal Annexe (pdf, 1.84 MB).
As we explain earlier in this report, this has been a difficult section to compile. There is no established model to follow: few international communications operators have published a country-by-country report of this kind and very few have done so on the basis of data gathered by the local licensed communications operator. Additionally, there are no standardised methods for categorising the type and volume of agency and authority demands; different governments, parliaments, regulators, agencies and authorities apply a variety of definitions when authorising or recording the types of demands outlined earlier in this report, as do operators themselves when receiving and recording those demands.
The need for governments to balance their duty to protect the state and its citizens against their duty to protect individual privacy is now the focus of a significant global public debate. We hope that – despite the shortcomings described above – the country-by-country disclosures in this report will help inform that debate.