Swiss company Fink Telecom Services enables governments and companies to locate mobile phones. Behind the company is a local politician who has spoken out against state censorship. Associations and authorities are taking action now.
Swiss company Fink Telecom Services has been criticized. The company is supposed to make it possible for money to locate cell phones all over the world – to various governments and corporations. This was the result of investigations by the investigative platform Lighthouse Reports, which, among other things, Daily Gazette (paywall) or file “Mirror” (push wall) involved. Accordingly, the company offered cybercriminals, surveillance firms, and covert services the opportunity to identify people or read their SMS messages.
“Tages-Anzeiger” specifically describes a presentation made by the head of the company to the intelligence service of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In it, he explained how he could locate the operator of an anonymous Facebook account using only his cell phone number.
To locate smartphones, customers of the criticized company exploit a vulnerability in the Signaling System 7 (SS7) protocol. It ensures communication between various fixed and mobile networks, explains “Tages-Anzeiger”. Hackers can misuse the global addresses used in it and the protection mechanisms used by telecom companies can be circumvented.
The company president complained about the surveillance situation
Andreas Fink is the operator of the Swiss company with offices in the UK, Turkey and Jordan. According to reports, Fink is a member of the Pirate Party and ran for parliament in the canton of Basel-Stadt a few years ago. Fink has publicly acted as a critic of the surveillance state and has campaigned for free Wi-Fi. In the past, Fink has supported disclosure platform Wikimedia in handling donations with another company.
Fink told SPIEGEL that he had introduced technical safeguards to prevent misuse of his infrastructure. But he also admits that he’s working in somewhat of a gray area. It is the responsibility of its customers to use its systems legally, “Tages-Anzeiger” quotes from its statement. Accordingly, Fink has “multiple times” terminated its customers for improper use.
Now the allegations against Fink appear to have consequences. according to new “Mirror”In the report, the GSMA (International Association of Mobile Network Operators) advised its members to cut off Fink’s technical access to the mobile network, citing anonymous sources. The Federal Office of Communications (Ofkom) also told the paper that the facts are being examined under the Communications Act. The authority also wrote that there have been no complaints so far, neither against Fink nor his company.
In February 2023, information revealed about Elimindia caused an uproar. The company guarantees a good reputation on the Internet – Also for human traffickers and cryptocurrency scammers. Here you can read more about it.
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