[ISN] Espionage claims by telecoms company

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 05:49:48 -0600 (CST)

By Russell Hotten
The Daily Telegraph
12 Nov 2008

Altimo, whose advisory board includes a former head of Britain's GCHQ 
listening station and a former deputy chief executive of Vodafone, said 
it has received evidence of wide-ranging attempts to discredit the 

Altimo alleges the interception of emails and tapping of telephone 
calls, surveillance of executives and shareholders, and payments to 
journalists to write damaging articles.

The claims come in the wake of of Altimo's long-running dispute with 
Oslo-based Telenor, the Nordic region's largest phone company. The two 
companies are locked in a dispute over the expansion of a joint venture, 
VimpelCom, Russia's second-largest mobile phone business. Altimo is part 
of Alfa Group, run by Mr Fridman, one of four Russian businessmen 
involved in a bitter dispute with oil giant BP earlier this year.

Yesterday, Andrei Kosogov, Altimo's chairman, wrote an open letter to 
Telenor's chairman, Harald Norvik, asking him to explain what Telenor's 
role has been and "what activity your agents have directed at Altimo". 
He said that he was "reluctant to believe" that Mr Norvik or his 
colleagues would have sanctioned any of the activities complained of.

Evidence of an alleged campaign was contained in documents sent to each 
member of Altimo's advisory board some time before October. The board is 
chaired by ex-GCHQ director Sir Francis Richards, and includes Lord 
Hurd, a former UK Foreign Secretary, and Sir Julian Horn-Smith, a 
founder of Vodafone.


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Received on Fri Nov 14 2008 - 03:49:48 PST

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