What does Voda from Vodafone stand for?

bitsVodafone has blood on its hands


Tanzania is a beautiful country in East Africa currently ruled by an authoritarian regime that recently won a second term in elections. However, the elections are not recognized as fair by the opposition.

Now the Vodafone subsidiary Vodacom Tanzania is currently under criticism for working with the regime. Vodacom is said to operate a network censorship infrastructure and, by order of the Tanzanian government, filter messages and delete all SMS with the name of the opposition leader Tundu Lissu: How Western companies undermine African democracy. Congratulations on the successful collaboration with the regime there, Vodafone!

The British company prides itself on being a role model and respecting human rights on its website: "We believe in a connected digital society where data flows at a speed that connects people, communities and things to the Internet like never before." That sounds great, it gets even better: "We believe that the opportunities and the promise of a better digital future should be accessible to everyone, and we are committed to ensuring that the weaker do not lag behind on the way to this future."

And then the climax is: “Just as important as our obligation to achieve positive social results is our determination to ensure that wherever we operate, we act responsibly and with integrity: what we do is important, but how we work is just as important. We strive to ensure that we always act lawfully, ethically and with integrity wherever we operate. "

Unfortunately, this does not apply to legitimate democratic opposition movements in authoritarian regimes. Vodafone has a long history of working with authoritarian regimes and has often been criticized for this.

Of course, companies can withdraw to the position that they have to adhere to local rules and laws. But at the same time they have to accept if they are criticized for violating human rights standards and their own propagated values ​​and for acting as collaborators of a regime in order to earn money.

In this respect: Shame on you, Vodafone, you have blood on your fingers!

Short break music:

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That is it for today. Greetings and stay healthy,
Markus Beckedahl

I am always happy to receive feedback and good advice. My email address is [email protected] I am often overwhelmed by too many emails and not all of them get answered. But I read all the mails.

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About the author


Markus Beckedahl blogged as early as 2002 in the original form of netzpolitik.org and has been developing the platform as editor-in-chief since 2004. netzpolitik.org started as part of the newthinking communications GmbH, which he co-founded and from which the re: publica conference, which he co-founded, arose. Markus Beckedahl has been a member of the media council of the Berlin-Brandenburg State Media Authority since 2010 and was a member of the "Internet and Digital Society" commission of inquiry in the German Bundestag from 2010-2013. In the time before netzpolitik.org he was once active with the Greens. He writes the weekly bits newsletter from the netzpolitik universe. Contact: Mail: markus (ett) netzpolitik.org / Telephone: + 49-30-92105-986 (during working hours) - You can also find it on Facebook: Twitter and Instagram.
Published 11/17/2020 at 6:00 p.m.