Vodafone spells out how governments can snoop on consumers

Vodafone releases wide-ranging report on government surveillance; Bank of America faces $12 billion settlement; Latest telecomms deal to get two anti-trust reviews; Netflix ignores Verizon legal threats over on-screen shaming; Univision's plan to lure English-speaking audiences for the World Cup.

Expansive Vodafone report explains government snooping
UK-based mobile provider Vodafone released a wide-ranging, 20-page report on Friday morning explaining how governments in various countries use mobile devices to keep tabs on consumers. The world’s second-largest teleccomms provider said surveillance agencies can use secret wires in phones to listen to conversations when they deem necessary in many of the 29 countries in which it operates.

Number of the day: $12bn
That’s the amount of money Bank of America may have to pay to settle claims by the US Justice Department and several states that it mishandled shoddy mortgages. At least $5 billion of that sum is expected to go towards consumer relief, including payment assistance.

Regulators to look over Sprint-T-Mobile deal twice
The proposed Sprint takeover of T-Mobile would have to pass two separate regulatory evaluations to make it to the finish line, giving investors pause about the deal. Mergers in the telecommunications industry are unique in that they are reviewed by both the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Netflix ignores legal threats from Verizon over slow-service shaming
Netflix shrugged off a cease-and desist order from Verizon on Thursday after the House of Cards-maker began posting on-screen messages blaming Verizon for slow service. Said Netflix: "We are trying to provide more transparency. Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion." The telecommunications company has threatened legal action.

Univision’s plan to compete with English-language networks for the World Cup: fun
Counting down the hours to the World Cup? (If so, hopefully you have more faith in the US team than coach Jurgen Klinsmann). ABC and ESPN are set to get the lion’s share of ratings, but Univision wants to make a run for American viewers as well, even if they don’t speak Spanish. Said Danielle Grassi, senior director for sport digital at Univision Deportes: "We strongly think that watching the game in Spanish is just more fun."

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