Vodafone’s publication last Friday of its first Law Enforcement Disclosure Report attracted global press attention and comment. The report provides detailed insight into the legal frameworks, governance principles and operating procedures associated with responding to demands for assistance from law enforcement and intelligence agencies in 29 countries in which Vodafone operates.
Our London office team worked closely with Vodafone’s own in-house team to design and co-ordinate a multi-jurisdictional research effort involving Hogan Lovells colleagues and external counsel in the 29 countries in question.
The resulting research informed the creation by Vodafone of a country-by-country legal annexe to the report which seeks to highlight some of the most important legal powers available to government agencies and authorities seeking to access customer communications. In practice very few people are aware of these powers or understand the extent to which they enable agencies and authorities to compel telecommunications operators such as Vodafone to provide assistance of this nature.
By publishing the legal annexe under a creative commons licence, Vodafone hopes that others will re-use and build upon the material to aid greater transparency in this area.
The Law Enforcement Disclosure Report, which will be updated annually, covers the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 and can be found here.