Private eyes say Telekom snooping was limited to landline data
A private-investigation company at the centre of a snooping scandal in Germany rejected on Tuesday speculation in the media that there had been across-the-board privacy breaches, dpa reported.
But Network Deutschland of Berlin confirmed for the first time that it had trawled through landline billing data while investigating leaks at Europe's biggest phone company, Deutsche Telekom.
The investigations company denied it had scrutinized cellphone or banking records, as claimed in the past week by some newspapers.
Telekom has said the inquiry in 2005 and 2006 wrongfully used the dates and origins of hundreds of thousands of calls to identify the likely source of leaks to the press about secret layoff plans.
"The data we obtained were fixed-line connection records in raw form which were not processed or linked to any other data," Network Deutschland said in a statement. It had employed freely accessible databases of news items in the search for linkages.
The investigator company said it had also done contract work for the German rail company Deutsche Bahn, which confirmed that business relationship earlier in the day. But Network had never used telephone billing records in the work for Bahn.
Telekom chief executive Rene Obermann told an audience of 1,000 Telekom staff that an internal inquiry into the abuses would be swift and comprehensive. Public prosecutors are conducting a separate inquiry with former Telekom executives as suspects.
Obermann, who took over as chief executive at the end of 2006, has insisted he was not personally involved in the misuse of Telekom's own billing records.