Monday, October 3, 2016

Report: British Spy Agency GCHQ Gave Recordings of Dutch Citizens' Phone Calls to Australian Software Company

This is a crazy story: it came about because a British woman working for the Australian company heard the voice of an ex-boyfriend in one of the recordings:

The private conversations of thousands of Dutch citizens have ended up in the hands of the Australian technology company Appen which develops software for converting speech into text.
A report in the Dutch online site Volkskrant said telecommunications experts had opined that the only way this could have happened was by the British spy agency GCHQ tapping the information and then handing it over to Appen. 
According to Volkskrant, the matter came to light through a Dutch woman who had been employed by Appen in the UK. The company has four main offices: in Sydney, Seattle, San Rafael (California) and Davao City (the Philippines).
This woman was tasked with describing thousands of short audio excerpts in which she heard Dutch people chatting on the phone, with many of them being communications by cabbies in The Hague.
In one excerpt, she recognised the voice of an ex-boyfriend, who was speaking via Vodafone. He had not given the telco permission to share his calls with anyone and confirmed this to Volkskrant.
Much more from the original story at the Dutch site Volkskrant - in English - here.

And a very interesting and related Twitter thread (to to tweet to see full thread):

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