Telstra is using the telco’s hot spot network to target and trap criminals in its hotspots, a new report reveals.
The telco is using a suite of technology and tactics to locate and capture cell phones and track their location, including the installation of cameras, thermal imaging cameras, high-tech sensors and other equipment, and has been deploying mobile hotspots in the Telstra’s national network since the mid-2000s, according to a leaked report by the Australian Financial Reviews.
It also revealed that the telcos mobile hotspot network has become increasingly complex.
The report, which analysed data from a wide range of Telstra data centres, shows that Telstra has deployed the telcatel’s hotspots around the world in the past three years, and is now working on the creation of a larger network.
The leaked document shows that, since 2008, Telstra had been deploying about 5,000 hotspots across the country, covering almost 1.8 million square kilometres.
The Telstra Hotspot network is also used by major carriers like Optus and TPG.
The network has been widely criticised by privacy advocates, including one who claims that Telco is spying on customers without their knowledge.
But Telstra defended its surveillance activities, saying it was aimed at identifying and catching criminals and terrorism-related threats.
“The Telco Hotspot Network is a targeted and highly secure system that allows Telstra to target, capture and track mobile phone and wireless communications, which can assist in detecting and preventing threats to telecommunications and the environment,” the telcor said in a statement to the Australian Federal Police.
“This network provides Telstra with significant surveillance capabilities, including surveillance of criminals, terrorists, and others involved in terrorism.”
Telstra is currently testing a mobile hotsplit system in some of its hotspot locations in Australia, but said it was not aware of any specific cases of people being caught using the hotspots.
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