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BT slams 'scandalous' phone hack1ng claims
By Tim Richardson
Posted: 05/09/2002 at 09:26 GMT
A former BT engineer claims that phone hack1ng is a "disease"
within BT and that the telco is failing to protect its customers from
premium rate phone scams.
Whistlebower Bob Godsiff was featured earlier this week on a
Meridian TV show Cheatlines, in which he claimed that BT was
ignoring the growing problem of phone hack1ng.
He claimed BT's phone network was "easily accessible" for anyone
with "basic electrical knowledge". And in a worrying revelation, he
alleged that most of the calls - which are made to premium rate
phone lines with the cost appearing on unsuspecting customers' bills
- are made by BT engineers or contractors.
Said Mr Godsiff: " BT are just saying no, it's [phone hack1ng]
impossible. Well, I'm here to say it is possible. It does go on and it
will be going on unless BT do something about it."
He reckons that as many as half of engineers engage in phone
hack1ng and has personal knowledge of eight people being sacked,
but not prosecuted, for their activities.
"The debatable point is who put that charge the line?" asked Mr
"If it wasn't the subscriber it has to be somebody else and nine times
out of ten it will be one of the engineers - not necessarily a BT guy
but any one of these numerous contractors they've got working for
them at the moment," he said.
BT has reacted angrily to the programme calling the allegations
A spokesman for BT told The Register: "This is an outright slander
on all the good names of people at BT. This is scandalous."
"We can't say that it never happens, or that it has never happened.
But to say this is widespread and rife is rubbish.
"Customers can have confidence in the accuracy of their BT bill.
There is no substance in the allegation that unlawful access of phone
lines is rife or commonplace.
"BT's network is very secure and is subjected to rigorous testing at
every point," he said.
He also cast doubt on the validity of Mr Godsiff's allegations, saying
that he left BT some 14 years ago.
The programme featured three cases where people had disputed
their bills after they discovered that they carried hundreds of pounds
worth of calls to premium rate sex lines.
Those involved claim they weren't even in their homes when the calls
were made and no one else had access to their phones.
And now they're preparing to take legal action over the disputed
A spokesman for BT said he was unaware of any legal action at