Deutsche Telekom seeks investigation of call data abuse

Deutsche Telekom asked the public prosecutor to investigate allegations that security staff misused call data records on a number of occasions in 2005 and 2006.

Deutsche Telekom has asked the public prosecutor in Bonn to investigate allegations that its security staff misused call data records on a number of occasions in order to track contacts between board members and journalists, according to company sources.

The misused records, of who called whom, when and for how long, relate to calls that took place in 2005 and 2006, according to the sources.

Such records are routinely kept by telecommunications operators about all their clients, as they are essential to the billing process, but details of the calls made on a particular line are usually only made available to the bill payer.

Hewlett-Packard hit the headlines in 2006 when it admitted that investigators working for the company had obtained the call data records of nine journalists without their permission, part of an operation at the company to plug boardroom leaks. In that case, the investigators contacted telecommunications providers pretending to be the journalists in order to obtain their records, a process that became known as pretexting.

Deutsche Telekom first became aware that call records had been misused in the middle of last year, after an internal tip-off. An internal investigation lead to changes in procedure and a reorganization of the security team, the company said Saturday.

However, Deutsche Telekom said that on April 28 it received a letter containing renewed and more serious allegations from someone outside the company claiming to have been involved in the incidents at the request of a member of the company's security department.

After studying those allegations, the company filed charges with the public prosecutor's office on May 14. Staff at the public prosecutor's office were aware of the dossier, but would not comment further.

"We ... will support them in their full investigation of these allegations," CEO Rene Obermann said in a prepared statement.

"By taking this approach we want to ensure the greatest possible level of transparency and allow criminal prosecutors to bring those responsible to justice," he said.

The HP pretexting case ultimately cost Chairman Patricia Dunn her job, but Deutsche Telekom's senior executives should be safe.

"We are talking about incidents in 2005 and 2006 which were under the jurisdiction of the former management team," said company spokesman Mark Nierwetberg.

Obermann was named head of Deutsche Telekom in November 2006, having previously led its mobile subsidiary T-Mobile. Chairman of the board Ulrich Lehner was only appointed on April 17, just before the current round of allegations broke.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?