Vodafone is facing mounting pressure over the potentially unlawful access of a journalist’s phone records, as more details of a leaked email emerged that alleged a manager in the company instructed investigators to “use any means available” to track down the journalist’s source. The company has admitted that investigators accessed Fairfax journalist Natalie O’Brien’s call and text records in 2011 after she broke a story about a serious data breach within Vodafone.
After it initially denied any improper behaviour, the company referred the allegations to the Australian federal police for investigation on Tuesday.
The company has maintained that Vodafone management did not ask the two investigators who were involved to access O’Brien’s phone records, and that a review commissioned by the company found management had not instructed them to take that action.
The leaked email was reported by the Australian on Wednesday following reports on the weekend. It was written by a Vodafone Australia manager to a global manager in London in 2012 and relays a conversation with one of the investigators in which the investigator alleges he was instructed by another manager to take certain measures to determine the source of O’Brien’s story.
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