Vodafone is calling for government agencies to have to gain warrants to carry out any surveillance, as it released a report that phone tapping is used by governments to snoop on their citizens.
Stephen Deadman, Vodafone's group privacy officer, told The Guardian:
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.
...We need to debate how we are balancing the needs of law enforcement with the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens.
He said the use of direct-access pipes in the UK would be illegal because agencies have to obtain a warrant to get information.
More top news
Some 60 years after the brutal post-war communist regime 'disappeared' dissidents, the secrets of Poland's unmarked mass graves are exposed.
Somalia - once the byword for the ultimate failed state - is now showing signs of real recovery and optimism after decades of turmoil.
A mother has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after her three young children were found with their throats cut.